Last night Daniele Rustioni conducted Aida at Covent Garden. At 28 he is certainly young, but as assistant to the house musical director Antonio Pappano he was an obvious and pleasing choise to replace the escaping Fabio Luisi.
Luisi, who's eyeing James Levine's job at the Met, dashed off to replace him, breaking his Royal Opera House contract in doing so. As The Arts Desk commented, we may not be seeing much more of him at the ROH, though of course, if the gamble pays off, they may be seeing much more of him in NY. Whatever, he's given the young Milanese conductor Rustioni an excellent opportunity. Today's edition of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica has devoted a page to him: “Rustioni conquerors London”.
Opera Chic today commented on the current Vanity Fair article “Bunga, bunga at Covent Garden”, though the title doesn't suggest that Rustioni is copying the Italian leader's antics, but refers to the opera Anna Nicole which he conducted after Pappano. Rustioni is obviously being branded as a sort of pin-up with a make-over which maybe betrays his true style, but hey, he's still young. Whatever his look, his credentials are in order. His mother is still a singer in the Coro Sinfonica Giuseppe Verdi:
I was five when she took me to sing. Then I started to study… everything. Cello, violin, piano, organ, trombone, horn, composition, choir training, orchestrating for bands, orchestral conducting. While the others were going mad for Take That, the Spice Girls and Britney Spears, I idolised Brahms.”
He's getting the press. Will he get the accolades too?
Video: Rustioni conducting La cavalleria rusticana at the Theatre Mikhailovsky in St Petersburg
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.