It’s the essential rendez-vous for music lovers on Italian public radio: La Barcaccia, a satirical show on the world of opera.
Both cult and cultivated, loved and loathed, it boasts a record 5,000 editions and is about to celebrate its 25th anniversary.
Millions of listeners from all over the world tune in to this daily event.
Enrico Stinchelli is a stage director and one of the programme’s veteran presenters.
“La Barcaccia is quite a unique radio instrument,” he says. “Our aim is to try and show that you can not only listen to opera but also play with it, and present it like something which is not stiff or stuffy. It’s is also a very serious game, so we try to combine fun and seriousness.”
A recent special edition marking the bicentenaries of Verdi and Wagner – “Verdi versus Wagner” – featured two opera stage directors and the famous Verdi soprano Katia Ricciarelli.
Fun and the love of music spiced up the show, which also touched on more general issues such as: ‘how topical is opera today?’
Michele Suozzo is a musicologist and one of the shows presenters:
“I’m Enrico (Stinchelli)‘s playmate. Sometimes I’m ‘the professor’, although he is one too. He’s more of an expert in voice and singing, I’m more knowledgeable on other matters.”
“The French writer Stendhal, when referring to the finale of “L’Italiana in Algeri” by Rossini, talked of ‘perfect organized madness’. Well, La Bacaccia is a bit like that,” says Enrico.
Apart from the obvious music and singing, the show is punctuated with games, quizzes and debates.
Giving a chance to young up-and-coming singers is also one of its priorities.
Enrico Stinchello sums it up perfectly:
“We try to show that everything in the world is opera. Just think of the Italian parliament, it’s an amazing stage, with real opera characters: thieves, swindlers, liars… Italy is opera!,” he exclaims with a smile.
For more excerpts of our interview with radio presenter Enrico Stinchelli (in Italian) please click on the following link: