‘The Season’s Summer Stay in Villa La Pietra

New York University Florence’s The Season will make its triumphant return from June 6 to June 27 at the stunning Villa La Pietra in Via Bolognese, 120. Set in the picturesque hills on the outskirts of Florence, this free summer festival celebrates collaborations between the literary, visual and performing arts by hosting classes, workshops and free events for emerging talents to hone their craft, collaborate with established artists, and present their work in front of an Italian-American audience.

Celebrating its 15th edition this year, The Season will open with a recital by the Young Singers of the Verdiana Academy in Parma on June 6 at 8:30 pm. The concert, entitled “Singing Verdi in the Twenty-First Century,” will explore how historical and musical traditions have informed singers’ approaches to singing the music of Giuseppe Verdi, one of the most popular composers in the operatic world. This musical investigation will be accompanied by a pre-concert discussion with the singers, moderated by music professor Francesco Izzo and co-director of NYU Florence Larry Wolff.

The festival will continue its exploration of contemporary opera by performing Furiosus, a new two-act opera by Roberto Scarcella-Perino on June 12 at 9:30 pm. Scarcella-Perino is a long-time composer and Senior Lecturer at NYU, whose music has been commissioned and recorded by several ensembles throughout Europe and beyond. His new work offers a musical interpretation of Ludivico Ariosto’s chivalric epic Orlando Furioso, a famous Italian poem with fantastical stories about Christians and Saracens, sorcery and seduction, secret weddings and concealed identities.

Next, Villa La Pietra will transform its gorgeous Limonaia garden into an outdoor cabaret for a performance by the Continuum Company on June 20 at 9 pm. The evening will commemorate the most influential musical theatre composers of the 20th century such as Stephen Sondheim, the mastermind behind the soundtracks of Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, and A Little Night Music.

Last but not least, the students of NYU’s Commedia Company will present their version of Buffo Tartuffo, an adaptation of Molière’s Tartuffe, on June 27 at 9 pm. Filled with crazy characters and surprising twists, the hour-long play will have 15 actors playing 30 different characters as they recount how Tartuffe, whose name literally means ‘imposter,’ overtakes a household by using lies, deceit, and today’s all-too-familiar concept of ‘fake news.’

All four of The Season’s events will be free to the public but require reservations. To book your seats, email lapietra.reply@nyu.edu or call 055 5007210. (lea bourgade)