American Premiere of the award-winning children’s opera

La Luna Ritrovata by Marco Pontini

Libretto by Fabiana Cruciani
English Adaptation by Molly Quinlan & Carey Shunskis
Andy Icochea Icochea, Artistic  Music Director | Christian O’Neill, Director
Tom Robinson, Lights & Sets | Molly Quinlan & Carey Shunskis Co-Directors
Ellsworth Theater, 400 Heath St, Chestnut Hill, MA
May 3 & 10, 2014, 3pm & 5:30pm shows

Based on an Umbrian fable passed down orally, THE LUMINOUS MOON tells the story of two contrasting towns.  One town is perfectly ordered, and its streets are lined with identical houses.  In this town everything happens as expected; its inhabitants wake up every morning at precisely the same time.  Day in and day out they do and eat the same things, and they never have conflicts or challenges.  At night, they dream only in black and white.  The second town is chaotic and less predictable.  Its houses are irregular, and its people have disagreements and problems.  But they are animated, passionate and creative, and at night they dream in color.
One day, children from the first town wander into the second one and learn that a giant lamp – la Luna (the Moon) – attached to a mighty oak is the source of the unpredictability but also the creative energy of the second town.  After returning home, they too dream in color at night, much to their delight.   Word spreads quickly, and everyone in the sterilely perfect town wants to experience the effect of the moon.  Chaos ensues as the leaders of the two towns argue about who will keep the moon, finally concluding that it should go to whomever can pay the highest price for it.

One of the children quietly suggests to the adults that the moon — like the air or the stars in the sky — should have no owner, but is there for everyone.  Recognizing the child’s wisdom, the townspeople untie the ropes tethering the moon to the mighty oak.  As the moon floats up into the sky, it expands and illuminates the night, ever after giving passion, creativity and dreams in color to all of us.

About the Opera

THE LUMINOUS MOON (La Luna ritrovata) was awarded the first prize in the chamber opera category at the Barletta Composers’ Competition in 2002.
It was commissioned by a music school in Bastia Umbra, Italy for a performance at the end of their 1999-2000 school year.   Given the students’ wide range of age and experience, the composer designed the opera so that it could be flexibly adapted to be performed by diverse combinations of ensembles.  The music throughout the opera is based on different styles and genres, from folk songs, to blues, to modern music. This makes it accessible and appealing to children and adults alike, and inspires the performers to fully engage in their artistic and dramatic interpretation.

The story and setting of the opera lend themselves to rich choreography and movement, as well as a natural flow of soloists and ensembles onto and off the stage.
VOICES BOSTON, under the direction of Artistic Director Andy Icochea Icochea, commissioned Marco Pontini to expand his original work significantly, in order to accommodate its cast of 187 children.  Mr. Pontini will attend the VOICES BOSTON U.S. Premiere of his work in May 2014.

About the Composer

Born in Varese, MARCO PONTINI is a composer and conductor, specializing in baroque orchestra and contemporary music.  He has composed successful opera buffa, among them L’invito, winner of the composition prize of the international festival of Bagni di Lucca in 1989, and L’Orso (The Bear), based on the Chekhov play of the same name, presented in 2000 at the Konzerthaus in Vienna.  In addition to major opera works, he has composed incidental music, as well as music for film, television and radio productions, including for Radio France. In 2000 he composed the music for the play La Colombre based on the text of D. Buzzati and presented at the Sagra Musicale Umbra.

In September 2004 his chamber opera Toglit’il mantello”  (based on text by D. Buzzati) was premiered in Perugia at the Sagra Musicale Umbra, and in Vienna.  This work was commissioned by Theater LEO –Wien, and the premiere was conducted by Andy Icochea Icochea.