Fortunato Ortombina

Artistic Director of the La Fenice Theatre

Fortunato Ortombina

Born in Mantua on 10 May 1960 he completed his studies both musical (trombone diploma, middle course in harmony, counterpoint and fugue) and humanistic (arts degree) at the A. Bolto Conservatoire and the University of Parma. In 1980 he started working at the Theatre Royal of Parma in the capacity of assistant chorus master and support teacher, activities carried out until January 1997.

At the same time he continued to study composition and musicology gaining a degree in 1987 with a thesis on Operatic Theatre during the Napoleonic occupation, and attended a philology seminar on the critical
edition of the operas of Verdi, held by Philip Gossett. Between 1988 and 1990 he collaborated at the Verdi Festival with research and publications on the musical culture of Parma at the time of the education of Giuseppe Verdi. Subsequently he took part in the project of performing the operas of Giacomo Meyerbeer promoted by Ricordi of Munich and the University of Bayreuth.

From 1990 to 1998 he worked at the National Verdi Study Institute with particular responsibilities both for studying and transcribing autographs of the composer, and for publishing correspondence with Giulio Ricordi, Salvatore Cammarano and Antonio Somma.

During this period he published the only autograph known today of Giuseppe Verdi on a text of Alessandro Manzoni, “Sgombra O Gentil”, a study into the creation of Rigoletto and part of Verdi biography published in “Verdi”, on CD Rom published by De Agostini.

The theatrical profile and the musicology studies led in their complexity to an education and a professional profile that have taken him to positions at the heart of the artistic directions of some of the greatest Italian operatic theatres.

From February 1997 to August 1998 he was musical assistant at the artistic direction of the Theatre Royal in Turin. After three seasons as artistic secretary at the San Carlo Theatre in Naples, he held the role of director of artistic programming at the La Fenice [Phoenix] Theatre in Venice from the summer of 2001 to the autumn of 2003. In Venice he concluded his three seasons of creation and planning with a week of concerts for the reopening of the Theatre (December 2003), after the rebuilding following the fire. In September 2003 he assumed the position of coordinator of artistic direction at the La Scala Theatre. Since January 2007 he has been Artistic Director of the La Fenice Theatre.