“Opera Rara holds a unique place in the music world: from last December’s recording of the original 1912 London version of Leoncavallo’s Zingari to our performance of Mercadante’s Il proscritto earlier this week which had not been heard since 1842, it has been, and will continue to be a privilege to lead this special organisation in its ongoing journey of operatic discovery”, said Rizzi.

The restoration and revival of Il proscritto was spearheaded by Rizzi who discovered Mercadante’s original autograph score during the first lockdown of 2020. The Times, which gave the performance at the Barbican on Tuesday night with Britten Sinfonia 5 stars, said: “Il proscritto proved a most worthy rediscovery, especially when singers and musicians generated enough gusto, electricity, and brute force to loosen the Barbican’s foundations. Look out for the forthcoming recording.” Prior to the release of Il proscritto in March 2023, Opera Rara will release Leoncavallo’s Zingari on Friday 23 September.

Carlo Rizzi was appointed Opera Rara’s Artistic Director in 2019 and his new contract, starting today [July 1], will extend to June 2025. In addition to maintaining his current commitment to leading Opera Rara’s restoration projects and engaging with friends, followers and supporters through concerts, recording releases, special events and initiatives such as the online “Carlo Talks” series, Rizzi will help the company continue to forge new artistic partnerships and give a platform to emerging operatic talent. Internationally renowned for his interpretations of both famous and lesser-known Italian operas, Donizetti’s oeuvre, which has remained Opera Rara’s heartland for over 50 years, will be a key focus for Rizzi.

“On behalf of the Trustees of Opera Rara, it gives me great pleasure to share this news,” said Charles Alexander CBE, Opera Rara’s Chairman. “In the last three years, Carlo’s dedication to Opera Rara has been inspiring. We are grateful that he has accepted our invitation to work with us for the next three years.”

“I am thrilled that Carlo Rizzi has accepted Opera Rara’s invitation to work with us until 2025,” said Henry Little, Opera Rara’s Chief Executive. “Carlo has been a positive and energetic force within our small team helping us navigate the challenges of the recent years. I look forward to continuing to work with him.”

Opera Rara – Mercadante’s Il proscritto – Ramón Vargas, Iván Ayón-Rivas, Irene Roberts & Elizabeth DeShong; Britten Sinfonia conducted by Carlo Rizzi.