loosely based on
Lord Arthur Savile’s crime - A study of Duty
by Oscar Wilde
lyric opera in one act
music and libretto Alberto Colla
directors Paolo Gavazzeni and Piero Maranghi
set and light design Angelo Linzalata
costumes Nicoletta Ceccolini
Orchestra Talenti Musicali
maestro concertatore Giovanni Di Stefano
cast to be defined
production Fondazione Teatro Coccia di Novara
In hazed London - in a farcical how real society – the mocking Fate makes of crime an illogical duty, detonating events to the insane search of the most suitable candidate corpse. In Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime, Oscar Wilde offers a satirical, ironic, grotesque, abysmal vision not only of characters but also of morals and society. Also, Crime and duty is inspired by the De Profundis, the most intimate work of Wilde, written in prison, where he was locked up for moral vintage hypocrisy. We are in Victorian London: alcohol, prostitutes as human goods, poverty, child labor. It was the second industrial and scientific revolution era (electricity, chemicals, oil) but, since opposites always bloom simultaneously, even of paranormal antithetical: hypnosis, seances, freak shows, palmistry. On this latter is based the affair. A party, strident voices, affable speeches. After the 11 pm the atmosphere gets warmer and Lady Windermere, the landlady, asks the fortune teller Podgers to read her guests’ hands. When he arrives to the young Arthur Savile, the fortune teller remains shocked by what he sees...
Scenes are mainly carried out indoors (rooms, pharmacy, hotel) and when these are outdoors (streets, riverbanks of the Thames), are claustrophobic, with grey industrial smoke, fog, darkness. A whole universe centered on the exaltation of kitsch - party favors, cups, fans, candies and trinkets – symbols, with morbid facination to the occult and superstition, of bourgeois lifestyles and Victorian aristocrats’ superficiality. The same superficiality that today we find into the abuse of portable technological devices, into the ’virtual objects’ kitsch, into the false news, into the indignation that ’cleans up’ the conscience, in the status quo that often falls into the horror voyeurism.
Seven singers, some of them with multiple role, cope characters and are accompanied on stage by mime artists and extras. The Victorian era’s bands suggest the organic chamber opera. Commenting the scene, a narrator that embodies Oscar Wilde.