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The Orchestra of the “Concert’s Society of Bari”

The orchestra that inherited the artistic legacy of the Theatre Petruzzelli, and maintains rich cultural traditions as well as renovation.

Since 2004, the orchestra of the "Concert's Society of Bari" has inherited the artistic legacy of the Theatre Petruzzelli's Orchestra of Bari thus ensuring that the rich cultural traditions which the latter symbolized would not be lost. In fact, in a short while that orchestra had become one of the best examples of cultural achievement both for the Puglia Region and the whole South of Italy.
Founded in 1985, as a personal initiative of Ferdinando Pinto, then the Petruzzelli's Superintendent, the Philharmonic of the prestigious Bari's Politeama quickly gathered the attention of audiences both locally and regionally as well as nationally and internationally. It became protagonist of the exciting opera seasons comprised between its creation and the fire which destroyed the theatre in 1991. Since its very start, the orchestra performed under some of the leading conductors of the world (Abbado, Oren, Renzetti, Franci, Pidò, Gatti, Zedda et cetera). As well, it collaborated with singers of the renown of Placido Domingo, Katia Ricciarelli, Leo Nucci, Giacobini, Cecilia Gasdia, Luciano Pavarotti, Piero Cappuccilli, just to mention a few. The Bari premiere of Giancarlo Menotti's Maria Golovin at the presence of the composer himself marked the orchestra's debut under Spiros Argiris.
Thanks to the remarkable quality of its sound the newly created philharmonic soon imposed itself on the international scene both as an opera and a symphonic orchestra. It received regular invitations to some of the most prestigious festivals in the world such as Granada (Spain), Lille (France), Leningrad (USSR), and Spoleto (Festival of the two Worlds). In 1987, the orchestra and the whole theatre obtained an important success representing Aida at the pyramids of Cairo (Egypt). This was followed by Piccinni's Ifigenia in Tauride at Paris Chatelet Theatre (recorded by Fonit Cetra), Dario Fo's production of Rossini's Barber of Seville in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo (Brazil) and, finally, by a tour of Australia for the country's Bicentenary.
Following the unfortunate fire which in 1991 destroyed the Petruzzelli, its philharmonic orchestra did not cease to exist. In fact, its musicians took its destiny in their hands and reunited themselves under an artistic-cultural association with the intent of preserving the rich orchestral tradition they themselves had contributed to establish. In recognition of the excellence of the artistic and cultural value of their product, the Messeni-Nemagna family, owner of the theatre, authorized them to maintain the theatre's brand name in the orchestra's title. Therefore the ensemble continued to operate under the name of Orchestra Filarmonica del Teatro Petruzzelli.
In this period the orchestra contributed to the international fundraising efforts for the reconstruction of the theatre by recording the CD "Omaggio a Verdi", released by Sony Masterworks, as well as with a number of performances. In 2001, the orchestra fully reclaimed its place in the city's operatic scene inaugurating the Teatro Piccinni opera season with Niccolò Piccinni's Dydon, conducted by Arnold Bosman and recorded for the label Dynamic of Genova, which was hailed by international critics.
In 2004, parallel with the creation of the Lyric-Symphonic Foundation "Petruzzelli e Teatri di Bari", the orchestra assumed a completely autonomous profile in its own administrative and artistic management. Under the new title "Orchestra della Società dei Concerti di Bari", the former philharmonic continued its fruitful collaboration with the new Foundation. In July 2004, it started operating officially under its new title with Giorgio Strehler's production of Mozart's Così fan tutte at the Turkish National Theatre "Ataturk" of Istambul, in a co-production with the "Piccolo Teatro di Milano". Once again, the orchestra was hailed by both audience and critics and was invited to prolong its collaboration with the project. Così fan tutte was represented at the Teatro Quirino in Rome (September 2004), in Bilbao and Pamplona (Spain, November 2004), then, in 2005, in Catanzaro, Moscow and Lyon. For 2006, tours are planned in St. Petersburg and in China.

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