Festival head steps down after 38 seasons

Gianfranco Mariotti has stepped down as superintendent of Rossini Opera Festival (ROF) after 38 seasons in the job. Mariotti decided to step down after an Italian court began investigating his contract with ROF.

Mariotti said he was “serene” about the decision, and his ROF contract was due to end in the near future. ROF has announced that Ernesto Palacio will replace Mariotti at the head of the festival – making him only the second superintendent in its history.

“I thank all my close associates – the ROF people – who have lived next to me on this long, wonderful adventure,” said Mariotti.

Commented Pesaro mayor Matteo Ricci: “Mariotti is a heritage for us, an extraordinary figure that has projected Pesaro into the world through the ingenious intuition of ROF, which is an essential part of the city’s identity. It is impossible to highlight everything Mariotti represents.”

ROF is widely regarded as one of the best opera festivals of its kind. It runs each August in the seaside town of Pesaro, where Rossini was born, and is split between two venues: the Teatro Rossini and the Palasport Arena.

Highlights of the 2017 festival included Rossini’s La pietra del paragone and Il viaggio a Reims.