Chat With Giacomo Sagripanti In Seattle

Photo courtesy of Seattle Opera credit: Jacob Lucas

The talented and engaging Giacomo Sagripanti was in Seattle, Washington to conduct the Seattle Opera production of Count Ory. He made his first appearance as conductor for Seattle Opera conducting their production of Cenerentola (Cinderella) in 2013.

He is the winner of the 2016 International Opera Awards Young Conductor prize, and continues his impressive trajectory as one of the important conductors of his generation.

Upcoming debuts: Glyndebourne Festival (2017, Don Pasquale), with Deutsche Oper Berlin (2018, Il Trovatore), and with Opera de Monaco (2017, Cenerentola).

In a casual chat before the performance on Sunday, August 7th, Giacomo shared his perspective on the current production (opened the night before), on his approach to conducting, and on his pleasant stay in Seattle, Washington during the production.

Excerpts from the chat:

What do you like best about this particular production?

Maestro Giacomo Sagripanti:

It is my debut for this work, for Comte Ory. When they asked me to conduct this opera, I was very happy because it is a nice opera. I think it is one of the most beautiful operas by Rossini. It may not be performed much around the world, but the music is amazing. It is a nice comedy, but with a musical surprise at the end which is very romantic and not necessarily so connected with the beginning. For example, at the beginning we have a wonderful comedy with a lot of the music taken from the opera Il Viaggio a Rheims, another famous work by Rossini. At the end you have the trio which is a very romantic piece, and portrays Comte Ory in a romantic light. There are some Guillaume Tell moments; there is a completely different atmosphere . . .

The production is amazing. We worked with Lindy Hume, the Stage Director. She gives a lot of energy to the company. The set is very interesting, with a big tower and lots of colors. It is the first time that Seattle Opera is presenting this work . . .

I am very happy that Seattle Opera asked me to conduct this piece and very happy with the audience reaction . . .

What was it like competing for the 2016 International Opera Awards Young Conductor prize and how do you feel about it?

Maestro Giacomo Sagripanti:

It was a surprise. I got nominated for the Young Conductor category back in March, I think. In May I went to London for the awards ceremony, and I received the award that evening. But, it really was a big surprise.

Last year I worked a lot. I had my debut with the Paris Opera. I conducted Barbieri di Siviglia, but I also took the place of another conductor, Michel Plasson, who took ill at the last moment. It turned out to be a good opportunity for me. Both productions went well and got good reviews. Perhaps that gave me more visibility . . .

What do you like most about Seattle?

Maestro Giacomo Sagripanti:

I like the weather in Seattle. The summer is not as hot as it is in Italy. The food in Seattle is good. I like to cook at home, but I also to get together with friends. You can find pretty much everything in Seattle and you do find very good Italian food. I like Seattle very much. It is a kind of oasis and I like to keep it in my life.

Read full interview conducted by Lina de la Torre in Seattle: