by Marco Garzonio
with Lucilla Giagnoni
written and directed by Felice Cappa
sound design Paolo Pizzimenti
video design Matteo Massocco
and Valeria Palermo
stage plant Valentina Tescari
assistant to dramaturgy Maddalena Massafra
assistant director Amanda Spernicelli
Fondazione Corriere della Sera
Spoleto56 Festival dei 2Mondi
production CRT Artificio Milano
Martini says: this is the observation summit from which to consider Marco Garzoni’s text. The title, even if temporary, gives the author’s intent. That is, to narrate dramaturgically: how the Cardinal did his work as Bishop for over 22 years when he was in Milan and why, when retired in Jerusalem, he had ever more assumed the role of a prophet of our troubled times; how the Ambrosian Church related to civil society and politics (which is why we speak of polis, and not only city, even if Martini had a special relationship with Milan) and the differences between Martini and the top management of the Italian episcopate; how Martini answered the continuous questions posed by the cultural and social context of both the most burning general questions of coexistence (injustices, corruption, violence, war), and the problems that closely affect the lives of people beginning with the family and the difficulties that it has to deal with today.
In the play, original text written by the author specifically for the Festival of Spoleto, two strands are intertwined: an objective one, so to speak, which is a bit the "history of Milan", Italy and Europe in the last thirty years, and an subjective one. The text aims, in fact, at bringing out the experience of a man who, taken from his biblical studies and devoid of pastoral experience, gradually becomes aware of the change he feels within towards the task he was entrusted with and notices, at the same time, how reality is changing as he is gradually emerged into it. Milan changes because of the fast socio-cultural and economic changes, but even he, the cardinal, has changed intimately from his early experiences and contributes in changing Milan significantly: the Catholic and the lay.
The work’s red line is Martini’s relation with the Corriere della Sera, newspaper for which the author Marco Garzonio ("the foremost Martinian expert" as defined by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi) followed Carlo Maria Martini as soon as he arrived in Milan. Much of the work material, in fact, is also drawn from the articles that the Cardinal wrote for the newspaper, the interviews granted, the mail exchanged with readers over the last three years of his life, from 2009 to 2012. The range of events - local, national, global - and Martini’s critical conscience have made and make Milan an emblematic summit of observation, for the city’s position (Mediolanum: which is in the middle, between North, South, East and West ) and for its role as forerunner of phenomena that the city has traditionally had. Terrorism, de-industrialization, immigration, localism, the collapse of walls, Tangentopoli are chapters of a complex collective story that in the "big city" (Milan is compared to the biblical Nineveh, the city to be saved from corruption and deterioration, according to the Cardinal) has one of its main epicentres . The succession of events and the resounding into the pastor’s soul, as well as into his intelligence, constitute the raw material in the proceeding of the text. Martini’s self-consciousness, who tries to understand the meaning of the present and the future germs contained in it, for himself, for the faithful, for the civil community, becomes the paradigm of a laborious search of the basis for being together as well as reasons for believing. The "what does all this mean" or "what does that specific fact resound in me", "why is it happening to me", "what message does God want to send me" are typical expressions of the Martinian lexicon. The fact that the Cardinal has questioned himself more than giving answers meant that people felt he was close, "one of us".
Martini, based on Ambrose’s experience, acquired awareness of the role as defensor civitatis and defensor pauperum, he remained a moral reference point for the city, for the country, for the Western world. But not only, given the intensified international relations at ecumenical level and also thanks to the scientific university years, the cardinal became a figure looked upon by countries, religions, institutions scattered to the four corners of the earth. A true interlocutor in the dialogue of cultures. A figure that still has a lot to say.
From this text, an evening dedicated to Cardinal Martini with the dramaturgy and direction of Felice Cappa.