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Also this year the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto seems to promise to show some of the new directions of art, with more than 60 shows in 11 venues, over 500 artists involved and several national and absolute premieres. The sixty-sixth edition will take place from 23 June to 9 July next and the chapters of the program are: Opera, Music, Musical theatre, Theatre, Dance, Meetings, Special projects, Art.
It is a list to be explored with attention and curiosity. There are names famous to the general public who alternate with the talents who stand out as protagonists of the future.
Inauguration and closing concerts in Piazza del Duomo with the orchestra of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia: on 23 June it will be conducted by Jakub Hrůša in a monographic program with music by Leoš Janáček; on July 9th Antonio Pappano will be on the podium for the first symphony ei Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen by Mahler with mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke.
There will be a new production of the opera ‘Pelléas et Mélisande’ by Claude Debussy (June 24–25, Teatro Nuovo Gian Carlo Menotti) with the signature of Iván Fischer, conductor of the Budapest Festival Orchestra and director together with Marco Gandini; starring Bernard Richter and Patricia Petibon.
Fischer announces an original staging: “I believe that in the future more and more the arts will converge: music, theatre, art will be more interconnected. In this ‘Pelleas’ the orchestra is only partially covered by a scenography which becomes the forest of the story. The music emerges from the scene and I think Debussy wanted just that”.
The musicians of the Budapest Festival Orchestra will also kick off the midday concert series ‘MusicAnimalia’ (June 24–25, Church of Sant’Agata), which will also continue over the following two weekends with the participation of the Perugia Chamber Orchestra ( 30 June–2 July and 7–9 July, Church of Sant’Agata): seven different programs designed around the representations of animals throughout the history of music, from Olivier Messiaen to Sylvano Bussotti, from Franz Schubert to Luciano Berio.
“Talking with the conductor Jakub Hrůša about Janaceck’s work ‘The cunning little fox’ we came up with the idea of creating a path among animals in music – explains the artistic director of the Festival Monique Veaute – . There are hundreds of songs from Monteverdi to today! From this was born the program of midday concerts, with famous and less famous music. For me it is also a reminder of current events, of the problems of man’s relationship with animals, of sustainability, of biodiversity. We have also invited Stefano Mancuso, one of the leading scholars of the botanical world, for a meeting at the Teatro Caio Melisso.
And for the dance chapter?
“This year we will also have many dance stars, both classical and avant-garde, such as Portuguese dancers Jonas & Lander, who will be able to surprise.”
Prose: Silvio Orlando brings a modern-day Spanish author to Spoleto: “Talking to our contemporaries is the obsession of our company, La Cardellino, of which I am the artistic director and Maria Laura Rondanini is the general organizer – the actor-. During our research we found an important Spanish playwright by the name of Pablo Remòn. He is the author of ‘Charlatani’, a funny and profound comedy. It is theater within the theatre, the story of a young woman and a director. She is searching for herself and her place in the world and the show follows her.”
I’ve read that the author presents it as a work about success and failure…
“Yes, and also about the need for success today. If you are not successful there are no consolation medals, you feel left out. Comedy is also about self-whipping and finding the best version of ourselves in relation to the world.”
Does the Spoleto Festival have a special magic?
“Naturally it resonates with a very important story, which has crossed the cultural history of the post-war period. Being there is great emotion and great prestige.”
Theatrical directorial debut for Luca Marinelli with the transposition of a story by Franz Kafka; Antonio Latella will instead guide the young people of the Silvio d’Amico National Drama Company with the world premiere of ‘Il Male sacro’.
In Spoleto 66 also Alessandro Baricco, with a show of words and music. He presented it like this: “Let’s take a journey into ancient times with ‘The War in the Peloponnese’, the book by Thucydides which recounts the war between Athens and Sparta, the two great blocks of those times in that part of the world. In the show there is the story of Melos, an island that wants to remain neutral, but the Athenians, who control it, do not allow it and send their warships. However, they do not devastate the island, but send ambassadors to seek dialogue. It’s a crazy dialogue, it’s the reflection of our fathers on what is right and what is not right to do when there is a force much greater than another. It also concerns the right to withdraw from the violence of war and the reasons for imperialism. It is a text that is many years old, but it seems to speak of our days. What we will do is not a lesson, nor an essay, but a show. Giovanni Sollima wrote the music and will be on stage with his orchestra of 100 cellists, who will also be the scenography. Valeria Solarino and Stefania Rocca will be with me. I can no longer see the great Greek characters played by men, perhaps because no male could compare.”