What’s On previews Accademia Teatro alla Scala for Abu Dhabi Classics. We have a Guiseppe Finzi interview, the Italian conductor in charge.

Tales of love, drama, passion and injustice – there’s more to opera than just singing. And you can see a selection of overtures, arias and duets from famous Italian composures as part of the Abu Dhabi Classics season.

The Accademia Teatro alla Scala, a prestigious Italian arts school, will perform a night of Italian opera on April 29 with former student and conductor Giuseppe Finzi.

This comes after a performance from Russian conductor Mikheil Tatarnikov on April 28 at Emirates Palace. That concert will feature the Milanese school’s orchestra playing Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor, as well as a performance by French pianist David Fray. What’s On Abu Dhabi spoke to Finzi to find out more.

Tell us about your performance.It is a repertoire by young singers and the orchestra from Accademia Teatro alla Scala. It will include all the masterpieces of Italian composers like Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini.

What is your favourite opera to perform? My favourite opera is the one I am working on at that time. Next month, I will work on something else and will be loving something new. My favourite is Italian repertoire, so I would pick Puccini and Verdi.

How does it feel to be conducting at your former school? There is something really nice about that. One of my first experiences as a conductor many years ago was at Accademia Teatro alla Scala, where I was a former student. So this is something like coming back home after many years.

What would you say to someone who has never been to an opera? Why should they experience it? They say you should be prepared before a visit to the opera. I really disagree with that. I think there is nothing closer to the everyday life of people – passions, love, unfortunate meetings, bad people – as opera. Just open your heart and let the music overwhelm you.

As a conductor, what do you try to focus on? Of course there is the technical side and knowing how to make an orchestra sound good, but the most important part of conducting is being inspiring to the people you are conducting. If you can inspire them, they will be able to inspire the audience.

Have you always had a passion for music? I was really young, four or five probably, and my parents saw that when I was listening to the radio I would try to reproduce the rhythm of the music by using a typewriter. So they bought me a small electric keyboard and discovered I could easily reproduce the music. No one in my family was a musician, so it was really by chance that they discovered I had this kind of passion and natural talent.

April 28 and 29
Various locations including Emirates Palace, West Corniche Road, Abu Dhabi, Dhs30 to Dhs250. Tel: (800) 555. Taxi: Emirates Palace. abudhabievents.ae