By Aise Humeyra Bulovali
ISTANBUL (AA) - Italian stage director Renato Bonajuto praised the Ataturk Cultural Center in Türkiye's metropolitan Istanbul, saying the scene has a "tastefully crafted design."
Adapted by Arrigo Boito, Giuseppe Verdi's final masterpiece Falstaff, based on William Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV, Parts I & II amazed the opera lovers at the Ataturk Cultural Center in Türkiye's metropolitan Istanbul.
Set in England in the 14th century, the play, whose libretto was penned by Arrigo Boito, was staged by the Turkish State Opera and Ballet.
The Italian-language opera was directed by Renato Bonajuto and conducted by Roberto Gianola under Paolo Villa's choirmaster.
- 1st time at Ataturk Cultural Center
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Italian stage director Renato Bonajuto said he prepared a piece for the stage for the first time at the Ataturk Cultural Center.
He came to Istanbul for the fourth time, Bonajuto said, adding he worked with the State Opera and Ballet through former art director of the Istanbul State Opera and Ballet (IDOB) Suat Arikan.
"We formed a good team with Efter Tunc, who designed the decor of the play, and other friends. We did a good job. As Verdi wished, we tried to stage this play through his view of musical expression. We just modernized arias of Falstaff a bit," he said.
Keeping up with Türkiye's opera and ballet plays, the stage director said: "Very modern pieces are being produced, but my preference is classical, to do classical directors by sticking to the libretto."
In Türkiye, he worked only in Istanbul. He found IDOB better placed for an operatic tradition, he said, adding: "Each time, I have a very well-studied opera group on the stage. I felt like I was in Italy. I saw their passion for what they do here."
- Operatic voices move you to another dimension
Expressing his admiration for the Ataturk Cultural Center, Bonajuto said, "I have worked in many modern theaters. The scene here has a tastefully crafted design. The acoustics are also very good, of course, since it is wood."
Also, he wishes to use all the technical possibilities that this scene has in a play, he said, adding: "It is a great pleasure for me to greet this scene with Falstaff."
Advising everyone to go to the opera, he said: "I went to the opera without preparation at first, but I was very fascinated. The operatic voices and the magic of the melodies move you to another dimension. It takes you away from all the problems in real life, pulls you into a completely different world, and causes addiction."
Meanwhile, Nejat Isik Belen, who plays the character of Sir John Falstaff in the opera, said: "It is a great pleasure to work with Renato Bonajuto. We were all together in all his works. We worked with pleasure. I hope we will have the opportunity to work together in the future."