Abe Gurvin (Attleboro, Massachusetts, December 31, 1937 - Santa Maria, [Santa Barbara County], California, July 9, 2012) was one of the most prolific and interesting American artists, among the greatest representatives of 'psychedelic art' (which, in San Francisco, it was an evolution of 'groovy' art, and which drew inspiration from the systematic use of LSD). The news about his educational and professional training are totally absent from the websites, while his works are very well known, loved and awarded: he has designed album covers for artists such as Janis Joplin, The Zodiac, Federal Duck and Bread, but the historic series of Nuggets album covers for Elektra, represents an authentic masterpiece that sanctioned, and somehow closed, an extraordinary artistic era
Abe Gurvin's portfolio included advertising work for companies such as Toyota, Coca-Cola, Disney, Suzuki, IBM, Marantz, Scholastic, Kenwood, Time-Life Books, Sony Music, and many more. He has received awards from One Show, Communication Arts, New York Art Directors, Best of Show, LA Society of Illustrators, New York Society of Illustrators, Los Angeles Art Directors Club, Society of Publication Designers and The Belding Award.
We remember some graphic works by Abe Gurvin such as the unforgettable cover of Car & Driver of May 1968, where a psychedelic drawing had been transferred to the hood of a Porches; the collection of drawings for the Casserole Cookbook kitchen, for the Sci-Tech science fiction series and the numerous hand-drawn illustrations for an editorial project of fairy tales (still unpublished today) called I Am Being Me by Ann di Hope.
Abe Gurvin served on the board of directors of SILA (Los Angeles Society of Illustrators); in 1988 Gurvin moved to a mansion in Laguna Beach, California and later to Santa Maria where he died at the age of 74.
the only flat thing to believe is the LP record
My precious collection is clear evidence that anything can be a treasure. The most important aspect for me is not represented by the value of the articles, but by the joy that these have given me over the years.
GIANFRANCO RIVOLI, A 'WORK IN PROGRESS'
Here is the extension of the Zecky discs pages. I will host here - through biographical, musical and discographic aspects -
the musical career of the Milanese conductor Gianfranco Rivoli. It will be a work that will last over time and will always be enriched with new content and documentation. The two sons of the orchestra conductor, Gianmarco and Gianluca, will be co-authors of the pages, weaving the beautiful artistic embroidery of a great musician, loved by the orchestras, admired by the soloists he accompanied and authoritative interlocutor of the composers who entrusted him with the first world executions of their works. As a vinyl enthusiast, I will coordinate everything and add my recording experiences (only the official ones, impossible to follow - in the maremagnum of online sites - his unofficial recordings).
The Italian musical interpretation is full of great artistic personalities: some have become more famous than others thanks to their remarkable record heritage and the quantity of sound material witnessing their activity; others - by choice - have conducted their careers in a more secluded but no less important way. Gianfranco Rivoli was among the artists most loved by orchestras, soloists and singers from all over the world; was an Italian 'export' (a term coined for a series of national radio programs) and - despite being frequently engaged in the great Italian opera repertoire, he achieved extraordinary successes in French opera, in the musical world of Portuguese and Spanish Baroque, in the symphonic music of the great national schools (Nordic and Russian) and - last but not least - in the Italian and European musical repertoire of the twentieth century.
Born in Milan on June 2, 1921, Gianfranco Rivoli completed his studies at the 'Giuseppe Verdi' Conservatory in his city, where he graduated in composition, orchestral conducting (under the careful teaching of Antonino Votto) and choral singing; he then completes his professional training by studying piano and organ, instruments where he immediately appeared a champion for the extraordinary speed of reading even the most complex scores.
In 1937 Rivoli was the winner of the National Piano Composition Competition in Bologna and, in 1940 - close to the Second World War - he became a young conductor of the Milan University Orchestra. These were the hard times of the war: in 1943 the young musician interrupted his promising career as a conductor to be compulsorily enlisted in the army, where he served until 8 September 1945. That was an Italy at the mercy of madness. fascist politics and the will to get out of the deterioration of the war as soon as possible: like Gianfranco Rivoli, many young musicians were involved in spite of themselves in the political events of those years: Bruno Maderna, Carlo Maria Giulini and Guido Cantelli, Gioconda De Vito, Arturo Bendettti-Michelangeli, Carlo Zecchi, the members of the Italian Quartet, the very young Igor Markevitch (at the time residing in Florence) and the older ones Vittorio Gui, Willi Ferrero, Victor de Sabata and Gino Marinuzzi, not to mention the greatest singers operatic music of those years, all poised between political opportunism and disgust for fascism.
Gianfranco Rivoli was lucky enough to have worked only for the musical cause: in 1942 (but the film was released in 1943) he wrote the soundtrack for the film I trecento della Settima, ('The three hundred of the Seventh [army]') a moving celebration of the alpine heroism of director Mario Baffico. The film tells the story of a company of Alpini, which - starting from a village in one of our Italian valleys - goes to Albania where it is entrusted with the task of keeping a pass of particular strategic importance at all costs. The three hundred men, huddled around their captain, remain faithful to the delivery and resist the infernal fury of the enemy, preponderant and better placed, wearing out, tapering to remain only a handful of men and enduring privations of all kinds. In the end, the small group of survivors conquers the summit in the hands of the enemy and, with very high morale, the last Alpini pay the honors to their heroically fallen captain. The film, openly propaganda, was played by the real Alpini of two Piedmontese battalions and the scenes were shot partly in Cinecittà, partly on the hills of Limone Piemonte and (for the high-altitude scenes) on the slopes of Mont Blanc. If the success of audiences and critics was modest (in volume II of the Cinema series, great illustrated story by DeAgostini, Novara 1981, the impression of imminent Italian defeat that the film induced on the public is underlined) in itself the film can well be defined an 'anticipation' of the Italian cinematic neorealism that will dominate post-war Italian screening rooms. Rivoli's music is of great value: divided between the descriptivism of the natural and war environment, and the introspection of the heroic-human sentiment of those Alpini, it proves to be proof of considerable musical and orchestral knowledge, even if it contains references - between the other highly appreciated - to Italian opera music.
After the war, and returned to Italy, Gianfranco Rivoli meets Raffaella Cortellini who becomes his wife: the first two children are born from the marriage: Gianluca in 1946 and Gianmarco in 1948. It is in 1946 that the young master begins a long period of collaboration with the Teatro alla Scala in Milan: with the reconstruction of Piermarini, the first experiences of the Milanese director met immediate and warm success, so much so that on the 'La Scala' podium (thanks to his sincere supporters, Antonino Votto and Victor de Sabata) he was permanently invited as director of the ballets until 1953. It was in the summer season of La Scala, which was held at the Palazzo dello Sport in 1946, that the 25-year-old Rivoli took the podium to conduct Delibes' masterpiece, Coppelia: the performers were artists of great renown, such as the famous Ugo Dell'Ara, the étoile Emilia Clerici and Ria Legnani. The sumptuous sets and costumes were by Nicola Benois, son of the painter and set designer Aleksandr. In June 1947, on the occasion of the 25th Milan Fair, the Delegates of France were invited to an evening in their honor with an applauded performance of Madama Butterfly. A true star of that time, Antonio Guarnieri, climbed the podium, while Gianfranco Rivoli was entrusted with the direction of a masterpiece of dance, the famous Boléro by Maurice Ravel. Rivoli's masterful performance, aimed at a strongly idiomatic vision of the piece, thrilled the French delegates for the amazing interpretation of the orchestra and the perfect preparation of the ballet company.
It also happened, in these early years, that the intemperate young Gianfranco did not hold back his language and happened to criticize the powerful superintendents and artistic directors of the postwar Italian theatrical revival. At the end of those 40s Gianfranco shrugged at various musical requests, criticizing some artistic choices of Antonio Ghiringhelli, superintendent of the Teatro alla Scala, imperturbable entrepreneur and industrialist: he had entrusted him with the direction of some ballets to be performed at the Parco dello Sport, waiting for the reconstruction of the Teatro alla Scala and did not like criticism. However, in 1946 (the theater was just inaugurated after the reconstruction) Ghiringelli returned to trust in the solid profession of Gianfranco Rivoli, entrusting him with the ballet season again. In general, the circumstantial criticisms of the 'powerful' did not make Rivoli's career easy (and this more in Italy than abroad) nevertheless the performances he gave at La Scala were useful in his subsequent professional life, and in any case, for the executives, the directors, singers and show business workers who knew him, his outspoken and sincere character was often appreciated as they were aware that Rivoli never had ulterior motives and that everything he said and did was in the name of music and his honesty intellectual.
Rivoli lived the theater from the inside, he lived the music in an all-encompassing way and his artistic curiosity always pushed him to attend the rehearsals of the greatest masters of those years and to attend the historical staging of works that have made the history of Milanese theater. From the great directors Rivoli learned the secrets of 'his masters' (they were at the same time 'colleagues'): Victor de Sabata, Herbert von Karajan, Carlo Maria Giulini, Antonino Votto, the very young Guido Cantelli, Argeo Quadri, Franco Capuana, Issay Dobrowen , his own teacher Antonino Votto and especially Wilhelm Furtwängler. Gianfranco Rivoli, in front of these monumental musical figures, confronted himself with the Olympus of conducting.
Very often he alternated in the direction with a conductor already well known to the Milanese public, Nino Sanzogno. In collaboration with his friend, he was the protagonist of memorable seasons on tour in Italy, bringing the ballets created in Milan to the Arena di Verona, to the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and to the Teatro Regio in Turin. In that 1950 Gianfranco Rivoli had the opportunity to conduct one of the greatest étoiles of the Opéra de Paris, Yvette Adrienne Chauviré, who since 1948 triumphantly trodden the most prestigious stages in Europe. Those were not easy years for Chauviré, not because of her profession, but because of the 'jealousy' that the Parisian public reserved for her 'muse of dance', seeing her triumph first in Monte-Carlo and then in Milan (shortly thereafter will move to the Royal Ballet in London). The love that Yvette Chauviré had for Milan and La Scala was absolute and sincere: the encounter with a sensitive but at the same time technically flawless artist like Gianfranco Rivoli produced memorable shows. Ballet, in those of the Italian social and economic recovery, in the heart of the Milanese had already reached the same importance as opera, and artists of acclaimed fame alternated for the major masterpieces of this precious musical genre. Gem among the gems was Yvette Chauviré, the unforgettable Queen in Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake: she is perfect and Rivoli accompanies her in a superb way. The agreement is absolute, the triumph is certain: the last performance of that production was the Sunday afternoon of February 19, 1950, the whole team was perfectly run-in. In the dressing rooms, the artists are tried, exhausted but enormously happy with the exceptional performance: we say goodbye, it is a 'goodbye' that also smacks of farewell. Rivoli, admired - indeed entranced - by Chauviré, refers to the day after a last meeting with the French étoile. On Mondays the conductor is at La Scala, he meets Chauviré and - with a shyness that was not his own - he asks her ... for an autograph! You do not think it is a banality: it was not customary among artists to exchange reciprocal autographs, but that so simple, spontaneous gesture of Gianfranco arouses the sincere admiration of Yvette that she writes:
Pour le Maestro G. Rivolli (sic)
En souvenir de notre “Lac des Cygnes”
si parfaitment dirigé Sincères
The Milanese of the Piermarini Hall will long remember the wonderful show offered by Chauviré and Rivoli. Shortly thereafter, the conductor will return to the podium of La Scala for a superb performance of Les Sylphides to music by Chopin arranged by Vincenzo Tommasini, a very refined composer who died on the fall of 1950. In Milan Rivoli will return in 1971 (to the Piccola Scala) where he directs the ballet Serenata by Alfredo Casella and a staging of the opera Noye's Fluddle (L'arca di Noè sung in Italian) written by Benjamin Britten.
The second great Italian city that saw Rivoli in the splendor of his directorial art was Genoa. The 'Superba' had not only the Carlo Felice as its main opera house, but an important number of other musical realities, both in the lyric and symphonic genres, such as the famous Cinema Teatro Santa Margherita and the Skyscraper Theater. Between 1952 and 1973 Gianfranco Rivoli was one of the main protagonists of the Genoese musical world: his debut in the Ligurian capital took place at the Augustus Theater in 1952 with Rigoletto by Verdi, Madama Butterfly by Puccini, Cavalleria rusticana by Mascagni and Pagliacci by Leoncavallo, the latter who saw the prestigious presence on the stage of Beniamino Gigli. Augustus was a 'lucky' theater, as it was miraculously spared from the bombings of 1941 and in some way represented the artistic rebirth of the city when it was attended by authentic champions such as Alberto Sordi (at the beginning) and a great jazz like Louis Armstrong. In 1952 Gianfranco Rivoli conducted La traviata, with a wonderful soprano of Romanian origin, Virginia Zeani, Don Pasquale by Donizetti and a modern opera Tempo di Carnevale written by Guido Farina (190-1999) with libretto by Arturo Rossato. Farina held the Chair of Musical Culture and (later) of Vocal Polyphony at the Milan Conservatory for a long time and there is no doubt that the two knew each other personally, even if there are no documents regarding their possible friendship.
In 1960 he finally got on the podium of the Carlo Felice (Teatro Comunale dell’Opera as it was called at the time) with Verdi's La forza del destino and (for the summer season) directed Il barbiere di Siviglia at the city park of Nervi. The esteem that Genoa showed to Rivoli earned him a solid credit in proposing works by living authors, which is not unusual in an Italy that was experiencing its economic boom and which was asking for works other than the great repertoire: in 1962 there was a succession of Dallapiccola's Il progioniero, Luciano Chailly's Il mantello and Stravinsky's Mavra; in 1963, Frank Martin's Le mystère de la nativité (with Magda László), Battono alla porta by Riccardo Malipiero; in addition to a bel canto opera that had had great success in Italy in the early 1900s, Fra' Diavolo by Daniel Auber. Other works of great repertoire followed in Genoa: in 1964 Lucia di Lammermoor (with a sensational Renata Scotto), Rigoletto (with the great Alfredo Kraus - who became one of Rivoli's most intimate and sincere friends) and La Périchole by Offenbach. In 1965 Genoa saw the birth of two new operas (Il rosario by Jacopo Napoli, and Il contrabasso by Valentino Bucchi) and of an opera practically never performed in Italian, Der Mond (The moon, sung in the Italian translation) by Carl Orff. Mozart appears for the first time in the Rivoli repertoire in 1966, with Così fan tutte, in the sumptuous park of Villa Gavotti Della Rovere in Albissola; in 1967 he directed Les Adeux by Marcel Landowski and Partita a pugni by Vieri Tosatti and finally in 1968 he staged Job by Dallapiccola, Œdipus Rex by Stravinskij and El retablo de maese Pedro by Manuel de Falla.
It is in this period that Gianfranco Rivoli is noticed by the artistic directors of some European opera houses: his remarkable ability to indulge the voices without ever tiring them (but, on the contrary, enhancing their timbres and expressive abilities) convinced many important opera houses. (and some prestigious symphony and radio orchestras) who could be the right person to encourage the presence of the public in theaters and enrich the heritage of recorded music for the radio archives thanks to its great musical value and the remarkable originality of the repertoire. The 'export' phase of Gianfranco Rivoli's career begins: Paris, Monte Carlo, Zurich, Geneva, Amsterdam, The Hague, Lisbon and - above all - the long collaboration with the Vienna Opera House. He then left Genoa to bring Italian art and 20th century music to Europe: Rivoli's last appearance in Genoa was in 1973 with still with modern music: Renard by Stravinskyj and Il cordovano by Petrassi.
Liguria borders on France and Rivoli's passion for music festivals inevitably leads him to direct works at the Aix-en-Provence Festival: there will be nine seasons in which he takes the podium to give life to masterpieces such as L'incoronazione di Poppea (with a very young Teresa Berganza), Don Giovanni (with Stich-Randall), Don Pasquale (with Gabriel Bacquier) and Il barbiere di Siviglia (again with Berganza and the young Luigi Alva).
At the beginning of 1970 Rivoli was called to the musical direction of the new Teatro Regio in Turin, rebuilt after its destruction during the Second World War, and where he became the promulgator of fruitful initiatives for the diffusion (also in the province) of opera and symphonic music. His managerial ability, as well as the strong musical character and affability he showed with the workers, was widely praised by the composer and artistic director Alberto Bruni Tedeschi, whose amazing life today deserves an accurate and documented biography. Gianfranco Rivoli's work in Turin is witnessed by a series of shows of international prestige, thanks also to the singers who had become friends and solid collaborators, first of all Alfredo Kraus. This restricted list of works presented in Turin shows Rivoli's artistic (and intellectual) caliber: Il cordovano, Wozzeck, Il gabbiano (by Roman Vlad), Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher (in Italian), Peter Grimes, Jenůfa, Katerina Izmajlova, The Rake's Progress together with the great operatic repertoire with La traviata, Werther, Il barbiere di Siviglia, La Gioconda, Les Contes d'Hoffmann, La Bohème and Boris Godunov where Rivoli achieved a personal triumph as a formidable Russian opera conductor. On tour in the Piedmont, Ligurian and Lombard provinces, Rivoli brought Verdi's Messa da Requiem which thrilled thousands of people. Here is a moving memory of Piero Robba, curator of the Historical Archives of the Regio di Torino:
«I met Gianfranco Rivoli at the beginning of September 1971 when, following a competition from the Teatro Regio, I took on the role of inspector of the choir (...) The meeting and attendance with Gianfranco Rivoli was one of the most important experiences both on a professional level both on a human and civil level. A determined, dynamic, communicative person, he immediately fascinated me and a frank and cordial relationship was immediately established. Knowing of my previous experience in prose theater, he was very interested in work and the environment and recalled with pleasure the experience in directing famous actors such as Valentina Fortunato, Sergio Fantoni, Enzo Garinei and others under the direction of Luca Ronconi in Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher of Honegger, in 1967 at the Teatro Nuovo.
Maestro Rivoli came from a long association with the Teatro Regio which dates back to 1949 when he directed the ballet Passacaglia with music by J.S. Bach, at the Teatro Nuovo, then directed other operas and ballets until 1970, making Turin known of the masterpieces of the twentieth century such as Daphmis et Chloé by Ravel, Il prigioniero by Dallapiccola, Wozzeck by Berg, Il cordovano by Petrassi, Œdipus Rex by Stravinskij, Britten's Peter Grimes, Janáček's Jenůfa, Shostakovich's Katerina Izmajlova and other works and authors unknown to our audience. In January 1971 he was appointed Permanent Director, a role that previously did not exist in the Theater staff. This was one of the many inventions that the new Superintendent Giuseppe Erba introduced to the Regio as the incredible idea-project of the Autumn Seasons at the Palasport, an idea that found in Gianfranco Rivoli one of the most valid supporters and became its creator.
Rivoli actually also had the functions of Artistic Director, although not officially since, between 1970 and 1972, Ferdinando Previtali and Luciano Chailly alternated as consultants, but in fact almost never present in Turin. Rivoli carried out both the direction and the artistic organization very well, in a very difficult climate and situation. Logistic, trade union, economic, legislative difficulties and obstacles that a determined and operative personality like Rivoli, combined with the determination of a superintendent like Erba, managed to manage and control, determining the success of the Palasport and the premises of the new Regio that was in the making.
The experience of the Palasport was useful and interesting, but certainly the difficulties of working in a new and adapted environment were not few and, on several occasions, the representatives of the choir and the trade unionists contested the management whose referent was Gianfranco Rivoli. During yet another verbal confrontation I remember the Master's reaction to the unorthodox accusations, to which he exploded shouting: "I did the Resistance, let alone if I am impressed by four Fascists like you!". With a few murmurs the protesters calmed down.
Gianfranco Rivoli directed the inaugural opera of the Palasport Season, Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci, on 3 October 1971, in front of about seven thousand spectators; an exceptional event and one of the successes of the long history of the Teatro Regio. Another historical date that confirms Rivoli's decisive presence at the Regio was January 15, 1972, when the Maestro directed the acoustic rehearsal in the construction site of the new Regio: in a polar cold, between pylons and catwalks, in the auditorium of the Theater the beginning rang by Tosca di Puccini. A unique emotion and the exceptionality of the meaning of: "I was there!". In the ups and downs of the artistic directors and the imminent inauguration of the theater, in March 1972 Rivoli directed another important novelty for Turin, Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress.
The inaugural work which was to be Verdi's I vespri siciliani [it is the famous edition of April 1973 directed by Maria Callas and Giuseppe Di Stefano, ed] also began, and Gianfranco Rivoli collaborated with Luciano Chailly, the superintendent Erba and Gianadrea Gavazzeni, who should have directed the opera, to define the companies and the transfer to the new theater. He again inaugurated the Autumn Season at the Palasport with La traviata, in September 1972. In December 1972, the Artistic Director Fulvio Vernizzi was finally appointed, who took over a somewhat confused and uncertain situation, but still well set up. Gianfranco Rivoli's position as Permanent Director was not renewed upon expiry (early 1973) due to the feared fears of the Board of Directors on the possible incompatibility between the Artistic Direction and the Permanent Direction, since they are in fact two conductors. Maestro Rivoli continued his collaboration with the Regio as a freelancer, also directing Werther in the small inaugural season of the new Regio, in April 1973. He again directed Il barbiere di Siviglia, both at the Regio and in various theaters in Piedmont, and Les Contes d'Hoffmann at the end of 1973. In 1974 La Bohème at the Regio and then another concert in 1980.
Love of country leads me to draw a pitiful veil on the incompetence of the Board of Directors and on the managerial indecisions of the time, which did not know how to exploit and use the managerial character and the artistic professionalism shown by Maestro Rivoli in the two years of his presence as director 'handyman', knowing how to direct and manage exceptional situations in one of the most difficult moments in the history of the Teatro Regio, which however marked the rebirth of the institution».
Rivoli was said to be a European master: he was hired countless times in Switzerland, at the head of the orchestras of Geneva (both the famous Orchester de la Suisse Romande and that of Radio Genève), of Orchester de Lausanne, of Radio Beromünster (which later became Radio of Zurich) and the Orchestra della RSI (now OSI) of Lugano. In 1972 he was invited to the Paris Opera where he conducts a memorable Il barbiere di Siviglie. In 1974 Gianfranco Rivoli, with great genius, reinvents a career with the appointment of artistic and musical director of the Chamber Orchestra of the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon and its festival. For this orchestra he calls the best young instrumentalists from all over Europe to competition / audition, effectively creating one of the best groups of those years for Baroque music. His rediscovery of 18th century Portuguese and Spanish symphonic, operatic, oratorial and concert repertoires, documented in musical archives of great importance and recorded by Rivoli both on record and for the Lisbon radio. In these years he meets Marie-Thérèse Boiton, who will become his second wife and with whom he will have two other children, Matteo in 1968 and Athena Beatrice in 1978.
Gianfranco Rivoli was conductor in some important opera seasons in Bilbao and his art was decisive for his career of great singers: in 1977 he conducted Il trovatore (with Nicola Martinucci, Katia Ricciarelli, Fiorenza Cossotto and Ivo Vinco); in 1978 La Bohème (with Mirella Freni, Jaime Aragall and Vicente Sardinero); Madama Butterfly, Attila (with Ruggero Raimondi, Rita Orlandi-Malaspina and Martinucci), Andrea Chénier (with Plácido Domingo, Piero Cappuccilli, Juan Pons and Marisa Galvany); in 1979 Gianfranco Rivoli conducts Aida (with Nunzio Todisco, Viorica Cortez and Maria Parazzini), Simon Boccanegra (with a young Reanto Bruson, Maria Parazzini, Bonaldo Giaiotti and Giorgio Casellato Lamberti), Ernani (again Bruson, Giaiotti, Casellato Lamberti and Angeles Gulin), I due Foscari (Maria Parazzini, a very young Ferruccio Furlanetto, Vicente Sardinero and Renato Francesconi); in 1980 it was the turn of Lucia di Lammermoor (with Mariella Devia, Beniamino Prior and Giorgio Zancanaro), La sonnambula (Mariella Devia, Dano Raffanti and Mario Rinaudo), La traviata (Adriana Maliponte, Prior and Zancanaro); in 1982 he directed Lucrezia Borgia (Alfredo Kraus, Margarita Castro Alberty and Benedetta Pecchioli), La Gioconda (Angeles Gulin, José Carreras, Matteo Manuguerra and Rinaudo), Don Carlo (Nicolai Ghiaurov, Jaime Aragall, Mirella Freni, Giovanni Foiani and Viorica Cortez), Les pècheurs de perles (Kraus, Devia, Sarninero and Foiani) and finally in 1984 the reprise of I due Foscari (Parazzini, Gaetano Scano and Siegmund Cowan) and Macbeth (Matteo Manuguerra, Ghena Dimitrova and Foiani). The anecdote that saw Plácido Domingo as the protagonist in the performance of Andrea Chénier on 13 September 1978 is tasty when the tenor is left without a voice. The tension and the unusual heat had played a bad trick on the artist. Disappeared behind the scenes to recover and understand if it was appropriate to continue or to call a replacement, it was Rivoli's turn to get on stage and tell the audience - screaming in disapproval - what was happening.
Gianfranco Rivoli thins out his presence in theaters more and more (his last appearances will be at the Municipal Theater of Livorno and that of Bergamo, for the 1986-1987 opera seasons), until his definitive retirement in his favorite Umbria where he dies - on October 18, 2005 - in Città di Castello. Finally, here is a memory of Gianfranco Rivoli's two first sons, Gianluca and Gianmarco: in Umbertide the conductor chats about music, when at a certain point he says to his two sons «I have always tried to get as close as possible to the original creative thought of author, the composer's ideas, emotions, beliefs, habits, tastes, merits, defects and human affairs. All this was the final synthesis of my work: interpreting and transmitting the composer's 'original' mood to my audience. Yes: the theater, the opera house ... a complicated machine that forces to bring together (in about two or three hours) the life 'in that event' of my artists, their culture, their beliefs, their 'feelings '... even the vices and their virtues; you feel the anxieties, the dramas, the satisfactions, the joy of success even when moments of irresistible me involuntary comedy occur: the kimono that slips down after 'Ah come, you're mine' while Pinkerton and Cio-cio-san pass by the garden to the little house... or Scarpia who suddenly resurrects by hopping around the stage to extinguish the drop of hot wax that had fallen from the candlestick onto his hand. There were terrible moments and of 'real drama' while I felt behind me, without knowing the reason, I was so taken by the orchestra and the show, the rising wave of laughter. But, in the theater, we don't know how… everything always goes right ».
Thanks for the contributions:
Sound engineer of RAI Italian Broadcasting;
For the invaluable help in finding the printed reviews of Gianfranco Rivoli's concerts;
For the treatment of photographs with software suitable for restoration.