Aldo Finzi’s (1897-1945) ‘La Serenata al Vento’ - ‘The Serenade to the Wind’, a comic opera in 3 acts, recorded live at the Donizetti Theatre, Bergamo Festival, 2012. A premier performance and recording by Shirelle Dashevsky (soprano), Andrei Trifonov (baritone), Yakov Halperin (tenor) and the Bergamo Festival Orchestra directed by Diego Montrone.
Moments before he died, Jewish-Italian composer Aldo Finzi whispered the words, “Let my music be performed”, a wish that was finally fulfilled on a cold December night in 2012 in the 19th-century Donizetti Theatre in Bergamo, less than 35 miles away from the legendary La Scala Opera House where ‘La Serenata al Vento’ had won first prize in a competition for ‘Best New Opera’. The year was 1937 and as part of the prize, the winning opera was to be performed at La Scala the following year. However, the rise in anti-semitism put paid to that and the concert was cancelled, and the opera discredited by the then fascist government under its infamous ant-semitic laws.
Born in Milan in 1897 to a middle-class Jewish family with a passion for music, Finzi had already established himself as a promising composer by the time he was 24. His works had been published by the famous Casa Ricordi, among them, several pieces of chamber music, a few symphonic poems and this masterpiece, ‘La Serenata al Vento’, a comic opera based on a libretto by Carlo Veneziani.
A racy and romantic comedy of manners, La Serenata al Vento’ tells the story of the exuberant Loly and her pedantic tutor, Leandro, who enters Loly’s window by mistake to get away from his secret lover’s abode. This incurs the wrath of her strict father, Colonnello Dagoberto, resulting in a crescendo of misunderstandings and comic moments.