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The long-awaited Italian version of Lazarus, the rock opera that David Bowie wrote shortly before his death. The White Duke co-signed it with Irish playwright Enda Walsh.
This forthcoming Italian version, directed by Valter Malosti and produced by ERT/Teatro Nazionale, features Agnelli as the protagonist. With him will be the winner of the XIV edition of X Factor Casadilego, the choreographer and dancer Michela Lucenti and eleven other performers.
Manuel Agnelli plays the role of the alien Newton, the interstellar migrant de The man who fell to eartha novel written by Walter Trevis in 1963 and adapted to the big screen by Nicolas Roeg in 1976 (the film The Man Who Fell To Earth starred David Bowie himself). Manuel Agnelli will then immerse himself in the role that in the mid-70s had been played by Bowie.
The play includes David Bowie’s greatest hits, from Heroes to Life on Mars? from Changes to – of course – Lazarus. In fact, the song that gives its name to the rock opera could not be missing.
Lazarus with Manuel Agnelli it will remain on the bill in Cesena until 26 March and then move on to Modena, Rimini, Rome, Bologna, Naples, Lugano, Milan, Ferrara and Turin, in a tour that will continue until mid-June (at the bottom of this article you will find all the dates of the reruns of the show).
The rock opera written to the music of David Bowie
Lazarus is a theatrical musical, a rock opera written to the music of David Bowie and created together with the Irish playwright Enda Walsh as an ideal continuation of the novel The Man Who Fell To Eartha book of which the film adaptation is very famous which in 1976 arrived on the big screen starring the legendary Bowie, alien par excellence.
The original plot of the literary work of Walter Trevis has the alien Thomas Jerome Newton as its protagonist. This extraterrestrial arrives on Earth to save his family from the terrible drought that has hit his planet. But he will fail in his mission, remaining trapped on the planet of human beings forever, without being able to die or return home.
Lazarus is set in the apartment where Newton lives in New York. The alien is condemned to stay on Earth forever, living isolated from the world: locked up in his apartment, he is afflicted by depression and alcohol alterations, prey to the ghosts of his psyche that mixes dream and reality.
The soundtrack is composed entirely of classic songs from Bowie’s discography and four unreleased songs, composed specifically for the musical and then inserted into Blackstar and in the EP No plan. The unreleased songs (when the rock opera came out, i.e. in 2015) are Lazarus, No Plan, Killing A Little Time And When I Met You.
The premiere of Lazarus was held in December 2015
Lazarus was staged for the first time at the Theater Workshop in New York in December 2015. It was the last public appearance of David Bowie, who died a month later.
Interviewed by the US edition of Rolling Stone in 2021, the director of the musical in its American version, Ivo Van Hove, told how the White Duke saw Lazarus as a priority, aware of the fact that he had little time left. “He had a great urgency right from the start. I wanted to postpone it due to calendar problems and he told me no, we should have done it right away, that we should have succeeded. He already knew he was sick, unlike us, and therefore he had this urgency to bring the show to the stage. I really admired that a 68-year-old man had so much fire inside, such great artistic ambition to make something happen. It was really important to him,” said Ivo Van Hove.
The following year, in 2016, Lazarus debuted in London and the role of the alien protagonist was entrusted to Michael C. Hall, the actor famous for playing the serial killer Dexter in the television series of the same name.
The Italian version of Lazarus: the cast and the dates of the tour
But let’s come to us, that is to Italy. The interpreters of the Italian version are the famous Manuel Agnelli, the winner of the 15th edition of X FactorCasadilego (who will play the role of The Girl), the choreographer and dancer Michela Lucenti, eleven other performers and a band made up of seven musicians.
After the debut in Italy at the Teatro Bonci in Cesena on March 22nd 2023, Lazarus will remain on the bill in Cesena until March 26, after which it will go on tour with the following schedule:
• Teatro Storchi in Modena (from 29 March to 2 April),
• Galli Theater in Rimini (from 5 to 7 April),
• Teatro Argentina in Rome (from 12 to 23 April),
• Arena del Sole Theater in Bologna (from 26 to 30 April),
• Mercadante Theater in Naples (from 3 to 14 May),
• LAC Lugano Arte e Cultura in Lugano (from 18 to 20 May),
• Piccolo Teatro Strehler in Milan (from 23 to 28 May),
• Municipal Theater in Ferrara (from 1 to 3 June)
• Teatro Carignano in Turin (from 6 to 18 June).