The Company Finzi Pasca is born
Projects and amazement on a global scale
Press release. For immediate release – Montreal, September 22, 2011
World renowned for his Théâtre de la Caresse (Theatre of the Caress), a concept he developed with Maria Bonzanigo, as well as for a series of creations that amazed millions of spectators, director Daniele Finzi Pasca is now associating with collaborators and longtime friends in the founding of a new corporative and artistic structure: the Company Finzi Pasca. At the heart this new adventure started in 2011, lie a series of world-scale creative endeavours: opera, acrobatic theatre, circus, cinema and much more. The Company Finzi Pasca comes as a link between the stories of Inlevitas and Teatro Sunil. It was founded by Antonio Vergamini, Daniele Finzi Pasca, Hugo Gargiulo, Julie Hamelin and Maria Bonzanigo, and chose to set its headquarters in Lugano, Switzerland, as well as Montreal.
A deep bond and a love story have developed over the years between Daniele Finzi Pasca and Quebecers. Apart from his creations with Cirque Eloize (Nomade, Rain, Nebbia), the artist shone all around the province with shows such as Corteo at Cirque du Soleil, Icaro, a mythical solo revived at Usine C in 2010, as well as Visitatio, a coproduction of Teatro Sunil and Carbone 14. In December 2010, his brilliant onstage fresco Donka: a Letter to Chekhov, was performed in Montreal to great critical and public acclaim.
An international leading figure in the development of performing arts, cofounder of Cirque Éloize and a great friend of Daniele Finzi Pasca, Montreal-born Julie Hamelin brings her unique vision and precious expertise to this new structure. Under her leadership as Director of international development, Cirque Éloize associated with a global touring network that allowed it to perform all around the world. Since 2001, Julie Hamelin has been acting as Creative associate along Daniele Finzi Pasca. Their collaboration goes all the way back to the creation of the popular Trilogie du Ciel at Cirque Éloize. It continued with the closing ceremony of the Turin Olympics, and more recently with the operas Il Pagliacci, Aida, and L’Amour de Loin.
More Quebecers are to be found at many other positions in the company: Daniel Cyr (a fellow founder of Cirque Éloize) acts as designer of new acrobatic devices; Alexis Bowles, lighting co-designer; Geneviève Dupéré, assistant director; Sarai Gomez, assistant for international development, Marc Laliberté, technical director on Icaro and longtime collaborator on various projects of the company; Guillaume Labelle, technical director and light engineer for Donka on tour; Dave Bourdages, rigger on Il Pagliacci, as well as among the performers, such as Andrée-Ann Gingras-Roy, David Menes, Stéphane Gentilini, Évelyne Allard, Annie-Kim Déry, Mariève Hémond, Catherine Girard, Jean-Philippe Cuerrier, Sandrine Mérette and Évelyne Laforest.
The five founders of the Company Finzi Pasca: Antonio Vergamini, Maria Bonzanigo, Hugo Gargiulo, Daniele Finzi Pasca and Julie Hamelin.
Company Finzi Pasca already has a number of projects under its belt and is keeping the pace with great enthusiasm. Here is a brief preview of the activities that will keep the team busy over the coming months and years.
Great project Montreal 2013
Despite the fact that the Company Finzi Pasca team is under a vow of utter silence, we can already announce the creation of a very widescale performance for the season 2012-2013. The scenic project will hold its world premiere in Montreal, and is inspired by a major visual artist of worldwide fame. After Montreal, the show will go on tour for a number of years.
Donka: A Letter to Chekhov
Acclaimed around the world, this stunning production was first shown in Russia as it opened the ceremonies commemorating Anton Chekhov’s 150th anniversary. Valery Shadrin, General Director of Moscow’s Checkhov International Theatre Festival, gave complete creative licence to Daniele Finzi Pasca. The result is a scenic work filled with astounding images, nostalgia and moments of pure magic. The show is now resuming its international tour.
A mythical show created some twenty years ago, it has since been played all around the world in many languages. Directed and interpreted by Daniele Finzi Pasca, Icaro has enjoyed a raving success wherever it was performed. The demand is such that the show is still following its road across continents to this day.
Daniele Finzi Pasca signs this impressive rendition of Ruggiero Leoncavallo’s opera, on which Julie Hamelin acted as Assistant director. Produced by and at Teatro San Carlo in Naples, it premiered last July, under the conduction of Donato Renzetti. The opera will rerun at Mariinsky Theatre in Saint-Petersburg, Russia from October 2011, and has been admitted to the repertoire of Teatro San Carlo.
In the spring of 2011, a few months after Donka’s success in Russia, the prestigious Mariinsky Theatre of Saint-Petersburg invited the Director and Julie Hamelin, Assistant director, to tackle the opera Aida, under the musical direction of Maestro Valery Gergiev. The production, which opened in June 2011 to a full house and raving reviews, has been granted repertoire status by the Mariinsky and will be revived next Fall.
L’Amour de Loin
First opera by Kaija Saariho, and inspired by the life of a troubadour, L’Amour de Loin was produced by Daniele Finzi Pasca in 2009 for the English National Opera in London. Julie Hamelin collaborated as Assistant director. After being presented at both the Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp and the Opera of Gant in 2010, it will be Toronto’s Canadian Opera Company’s turn to present L’Amour de Loin. This new production will be directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca in collaboration with Julie Hamelin, and will feature a completely new cast. L’Amour de Loin will premiere in Toronto February 2, 2012.
Among the other artistic ventures of the Company, a film project is currently under way. The Company also created the choreographies for designer Ermenegildo Zegna’s Spring-Summer 2012 collection fashion show.
The Company Finzi Pasca as thus taken its flight; the team is simultaneously leading an array of exciting projects. Over the years, the Théâtre de la Caresse put forth by Daniele Finzi Pasca managed to win the hearts of Quebecers and worldwide audience, enthralling their emotions and stimulating their imagination. A distinctive aesthetic, a state of lightness and a specific training for the actors are the main features of this approach. The Company Finzi Pasca is looking forward to pursue this research and create projects reflecting these concerns. The beginnings of the Company Finzi Pasca allow us to foresee a future filled with many more adventures and innovative projects.
“To me, working with Maria, Hugo, Antonio and Daniele is finding a family spirit, a way of doing and thinking creation in which it is quite easy to flourish. Together, we have already worked on many adventures, from the Olympics of Turin to Donka, in Russia, and most recently to the world of opera. With the same lightness, we are able to go to the bottom of certain questions living inside us, to discover in the world of theatre, circus and opera a language, a very specific style. I also love the fact that many collaborators, friends and cast performers such as Daniel Cyr, a fellow founder of Cirque Éloize, were immediately keen on joining in this adventure.
I am ever cautious of striking the right equilibrium between the desire to produce shows with a tour appeal that can reach worldwide audiences, without ever losing the craftsmanship spirit and the theatrical savoir-faire, without losing this personalized relationship between the performers and the different creators.
To simultaneously manage a touring production such as Icaro, with its disarming simplicity, and a project like Donka, or to engage in conversations with Maestro Valery Gergiev for the opening show at the new Mariinsky allows me to participate in very diverse theatrical worlds. I have always been profoundly moved by the music of Maria, as well as by Hugo and Antonio’s approach of theatre, or by the way that Daniele makes a team come together. Daniele is always telling stories about his neighbourhood. I am most glad however that he, and all the others, are now closely linked to Montreal and love working here; and I am even more delighted to know that a small Quebecois enclave is currently forming in Lugano.”