Maestro Robert W. Butts and a Historic Opera
On Thursday, September 16, 2021, Maestro Robert W. Butts conducted the premiere performance of the opera Vite senza tempo at the beautitul Teatro Verdi di Padova in Padua, Italy.
Pianist/composer Franco Moro believes this might be the first lyric theater work with music by an American (United States) composer to an Italian opera with an Italian libretto (by Vincenzo Faggiano) premiered in an Italian theater. Colleagues are still researching, but it appears likely this was the very first such work.
Vite senza tempo is a complex tale told in a revolutionary combination of spoken drama and through-sung opera. Maestro Faggiano has created a work with deep philosophical and almost existential qualities in which characters and story cross the centuries, moving seamlessly between the 14th and the 21st centuries.
"It took me several months to compose the music," Maestro Butts acknowledged. "It was also a challenge to work with the new format of alternating spoken and sung dialogue as well as moving back and forth between centuries. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to work with Maestro Faggiano and such a terrific cast as well as with a wonderful orchestra and with Maestro Moro, a good friend and colleague."
The artists who participated in this landmark performance included sopranos Dominika Zamara and Claudia della Giustina, tenors Alessandro Penso and Francesco Sale, and actors Anna Moro, Veronica Galeazzo, and Alessandro Vecchiato.
"As a composer," Franco Moro stated, "you can be proud to have entered the history of Italian opera."