Giorgio Ferrara has announced some of the shows participating in the program of the 60th edition of the Festival of Spoleto.
60th FESTIVAL OF SPOLETO
TEATRO NUOVO June 30, July 2
dramma giocoso in two acts
libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte
music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
conductor James Conlon
director Giorgio Ferrara
stage designers Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo
Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini
The 60th edition of the Festival of Two Worlds opens with Don Giovanni by Mozart which thus concludes the three-year artistic project of the Mozart/Da Ponte trilogy, produced thanks to the cooperation of the Ravenna Festival, the Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra and the Teatro Coccia in Novara.
Don Giovanni - ossia Il dissoluto punito(The Libertine Punished) is the second of the three Italian operas which the Austrian composer wrote upon libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte who drew from numerous literary sources of that time. It comes before Così fan Tutte and follows Le nozze di Figaro and was composed between March and October of 1787, when Mozart was 31 years old. This "dramma giocoso in due atti", where Mozart combined dramatic force and comedy, music and words, realism and fantasy in such a sublime manner, was staged for the first time at the Prague National Theater in the autumn of 1787, where it was "rapturously received" (as Mozart himself wrote to his friend von Jacquin). It has since enjoyed the privilege of a virtually uninterrupted scenic life, being considered as the opera par excellence throughout the whole nineteenth century and representing a must in the repertoire of the greatest singers and conductors of the twentieth century.
PIAZZA DUOMO July 16
conductor Riccardo Muti
Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini
The music program is being defined.
Riccardo Muti will be conducting the Closing Concert of the 60th edition of the Festival. He will conduct his beloved Luigi Cherubini Youth Orchestra which he himself founded in 2004. This orchestra took its name from one of the greatest Italian composers of all times who was active at a European level to highlight, with his strong national identity, his inclination towards a European vision of music and culture. The Orchestra, which is posed as a privileged connection tool between the academic world and professional work, has its headquarters in Piacenza and Ravenna and is composed of young instrumentalists, all under thirty years of age and coming from every Italian region, selected through hundreds of auditions by a committee headed by Muti himself. Based on a spirit which imprints the orchestra with dynamics of continuous renewal, the musicians remain in the orchestra only for a three-year period. In these recent years under the baton of Riccardo Muti, the orchestra has dealt with a repertoire ranging from Baroque to twentieth century music, alternating concerts in many Italian cities to important tours in Europe and worldwide.
PIAZZA DUOMO July 2
STRINGERANNO NEI PUGNI UNA COMETA
for Soloists, Choir and e Orchestra
Orchestra (220.127.116.11., 18.104.22.168., 2 percussionists, harp, strings - minimum 22.214.171.124.2.)
The Festival of Spoleto 2017 wants to start with a moment of reflection and collection devoting the evening to the misfortune of the earthquake which hit central Italy, stifling hundreds of stories.
For this occasion, Silvia Colasanti was commissioned the writing of a Requiem, for Soloists, Choir and Orchestra.
In this new work, the Latin texts of the Messa da Requiem will be interpolated with new words, written for this occasion by the poet Mariangela Gualtieri. A mourning, a lament to evoke the wounds left by the earthquake, but also a song of hope and thanksgiving. A rebellion against the grim idea of Death, and the image of a raging God, judge, authoritarian and punitive.
The work has an oratorio structure, with various characters: a singer/Cuore ridotto in cenere-Heart in ashes, a reciting voice/La dubitante-The doubtful, the Choir of the doubtless, the Bandoneon/Respiro della terra-Breath of the Earth. The singer and the narrator – here the poet herself – will interact with the Choir and Orchestra, or outline some intimate and lyrical moments, which will alternate with choral and magmatic moments, and in the finale, a soloist bandoneon will personify a desire for rebirth, which starts with the small and simple things.
TEATRO NUOVO July 7, 8, 9
HE HAD TWO PISTOLS WITH WHITE AND BLACK EYES
based on the play written by Dario Fo
director Meng Jinghui
stage designer Zhang Wu
lighting Wang Qi
music Hua Shan
performers Zhang Yicheng, Luo Huan, Lv Jing, Yang Zuofu, Liu Shuang,
Sun Yucheng, Li Zhihao, Zhang Gongchang, GuoBingkun, Zhang Yaqian
As announced at the first session of the Italy-China Cultural Forum where the Festival took part last February, along with some of the most prestigious Italian arts institutions, the schedule will include a show in Chinese taken from the play Aveva due pistole con gli occhi bianchi e neri which Dario Fo wrote in 1960. The director, Meng Jinghui, is one of the most innovative and famous Chinese theater directors and this first staging in Italy of Dario Fo’s text, in Chinese, is a tribute to our great author and Nobel prize winner for Literature, as well as an evident sign of the growing mutual interest in the cultural sphere between Italy and China.
Meng is currently director of the National Theatre of China, artistic director of the Fringe Festival in Beijing and the Feng Chao Theatre in Beijing, as well as co-founder of the Wuzhen Theatre Festival. Thanks to his cutting humour and critical sensibility, Meng has become a reference point for contemporary theater productions by bringing new vitality onto the Chinese scene. His extraordinary creativity and his eclectic artistic style have become an authentic cultural phenomenon.
His theater is quite suitable for interpreting the spirit of the play by Dario Fo who was awarded the Nobel prize "because, following the tradition of medieval jesters, he scourges authority and the humiliated are restored to dignity." Both seem to express their profound affliction for the fate of humanity and the world with a similar rebellious attitude and irreverent seriousness.
Fo’s play refers to a case of chronicle which is set between the end of World War I and the rise of fascism. It deals with a sort of gangster story, a black comedy linked to a case of mistaken identity between two opposite figures, extremely typified, the priest hit by amnesia and the lookalike gangster who wants to take advantage of the situation. Compared to the original, Meng introduces new and surreal elements. From his point of view, in a society governed by the mafia, an ordinary person’s life can be easily destroyed. Every battle faced is equivalent to an attempt at suicide. The world becomes a mad-house, where there is no alternative to insanity or death.
Meng has already successfully staged a theatrical work by Dario Fo for the first time in Beijing in 1998, Morte accidentale di un Anarchico/Accidental Death of an Anarchist adapting it to the Chinese reality.
TEATRO CAIO MELISSO July 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13
freely adapted from Lo cunto de li cunti by Giambattista Basile
written and directed by Emma Dante
with Carmine Maringola, Salvatore D’Onofrio
stage and costume designer Emma Dante
commissioned by the Festival di Spoleto, a retelling of the well-known seventeenth century folk-tale.
Lo cunto de li cunti overo lo trattenimiento de peccerille, also known with the title Pentamerone (five days), is a collection of fifty tales related over the course of five days. Inspired by popular folk-tales, Giambattista Basile creates a fascinating and sophisticated world starting from the bottom. The Neapolitan dialect of his characters, enhanced with slang expressions, popular proverbs and outbursts, produces forms and ways that are explicitly theatrical with gags from the commedia dell’arte and Shakespearean dialogues.
La scortecata is lo trattenimiento decemo de la iornata primma and narrates the story of a King who falls in love with an old woman’s voice, who lives in a shack with with her older sister. The King, fooled by the finger shown through the keyhole, invites her to sleep with him. But after intercourse, realizing that he had been deceived, he has her thrown out of the window. The old woman does not die, but is left dangling from a tree. A fairy goes by and with a spell turns her into a beautiful young woman, and the King takes her as his wife.
There is an empty scene with two men entrusted with the female roles, as in the eighteenth century theater tradition, who dramatize the tale embodying the two old women and the King. There are simply two chairs to show the entrance to a ground floor lodging, a door to enter and leave the shack and a window to breathe a little air.
Basile’s language lends itself to the musicality and the story will focus on the rhythm, like a metric score, attempting to make truthful jokes without sacrificing the highly ornate Baroque writing.
The two old women, alone and homely, enact the tale with humour and vulgarity in order to pass the time of their miserable life, and when we come to the fateful ending "and they lived happily ever after…"the youngest, ninety years old, who wants to avoid coming out of the dream and remain a beautiful, young woman, asks to be frayed by her sister and then dies.
The moral: the females’ terrible vice to look attractive drives them to excess, so that to gild the frame of their forehead, they spoil the outline of their face; to whiten their outer skin they ruin the bones of their teeth and to give light to their limbs they cover their sight with shadows. But, if a maiden who is excessively frivolous deserves to be reproached, an old woman wanting to compete with her daughters is even more worthy of punishment as she causes a reprimand and the ruin of herself.