Lucky Red & Rai Team Up For Italian Opera Drama Belcanto With Actress Vittoria Puccini & Director Carmine Elia

EXCLUSIVE: Italian production and distribution stalwart Lucky Red is teaming with local pubcaster Rai on drama series Belcanto, about the roots of opera in Italy.

The ambitious drama is set to star Vittoria Puccini (The Trial) and be directed by Carmine Elia (The Sea Beyond).

We understand the series is aiming for a budget in the €15M range. Additional casting is underway, including for two more prominent actress roles.

Belcanto was first pitched at Berlin’s co-pro series market last year. Co-created by Mariano Di Nardo, Antonio Manca and Federico Fava, the drama is set in 1798, as 14-year-old Carolina, her 17-year-old sister Antonia and their mother Maria seek refuge in the city of Milan after stabbing their violent father to death.

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The elder sister dreams of becoming a renowned singer, much as her mother once hoped for when she was the girl’s age. However, a well-respected singing teacher discovers that Maria’s youngest is the true talent in the family.

The Italian bel canto opera movement flourished in the early 19th century and is exemplified by the operas of Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti and others. Literally “beautiful singing”, bel canto opera derives from the Italian stylistic singing school of the same name.

Puccini is best known for Italian-language series such as Netflix drama The Trial, Rai’s The Fugitive, and Federation’s Don’t Leave Me. Belcanto will return her to period drama after she broke through with Italian series Elisa di Rivombrosa.

Carmine Elia is known for directing Italian series including Rai’s Sopravvissuti and Rai-Beta collaboration The Sea Beyond.

Film and TV company Lucky Red has been ramping up its TV production in recent years and is currently in post on Amazon series Gigolò Per Caso with Christian De Sica and Asia Argento. The company also has three movies at this year’s Venice Film Festival: Woody Allen’s Coup De Chance, Luc Besson’s Dogman and Quentin Dupieux’ Daaaaaali!

Check back in tomorrow for Deadline’s exclusive interview with Lucky Red in which the company discusses its ongoing partnership with Netflix, the upcoming slate and what the chances are of a company sale amid consolidation in the local market.

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