In February 2023 the La Scala Theater in Milana temple of opera, classical music and ballet for 250 years, has opened up for the first time to popular song – understood in the Anglophone sense of popular music – and he did it with the most noble and most authentically popular among the authors of songs in the Italian language, the most artist and the most artisan, the most literary and the most musician, the most classic and the most avant-garde: Paolo Conte. From this exceptional event, of enormous historical and performative proportions, the documentary film was born “Paolo Conte at La Scala, The Maestro is in the soul”. After being successfully presented at the 41st edition of the Torino Film Festival, the feature film will arrive in Italian cinemas from 4 to 5 December. And you already want to sing the famous lines of Paolo Conte’s song: “The master is in the soul/and inside the soul she will remain forever/alive, beautiful and martyr/who will give everything he asks of her/there is nothing more seductive
/of an excited and nymphomaniac orchestra/locked in the mystical gulf/that seethes with storm and freedom/swirling in the vortex/where towns and cities disappear/in the delirium of those simple people/and of those usual people who come all the way there/to see it direct / with the perfidy that shields all cowardice“
“aesthetic ferryman from the twentieth century to the future”
Music, memories and confidences therefore they come together in this precious, intimate and poetic film, which goes straight to the artistic heart of a musician who in 2001, at the end of his tour in the United States, American critics defined “aesthetic ferryman from the twentieth century to the future”. A precise definition, capable of highlighting at the same time the radical and original spirit of the Master’s work and its more modernist grain, capable of authentically giving itself to the future, thanks to the eternal contemporaneity that is typical of classicism.
The words of Caterina Caselli
“Paolo Conte alla Scala is a project that I have cherished for a long time. It was born by chance. I was the taxi with Dionne Warwick and when we passed by the Teatro alla Scala I asked her if she would like to perform in that temple of music. She told me it would be a dream. So this idea of having to organize a concert at La Scala remained in my head. Subsequently, when I met Paolo Conte, and I had the opportunity to see his performance at the Teatro Gli Arcimboldi, I understood that he absolutely had to play in that magical space. Last February 19th the Maestro with his orchestra triumphed, as it should be, closing the concert amidst thunderous applause. Persistence always wins.”
The words of Giorgio Testi, Paolo Conte’s director at La Scala
“I entered into this project on tiptoe given the historical importance of the event. I had already worked at La Scala, but it was the period of the first lockdown, so the public was absent. Obviously filming a Paolo Conte concert at La Scala is completely different from filming a classical concert. We had 24 hours to shoot. I didn’t look for extreme spectacularization through complicated camera movements. My intervention was that of an immortal with a cinematic lens and I wanted to transport it onto the stage together with Paolo Conte. I think the film offers a coherent portrait of this great artist.”
The album the podcast
Precisely to honor and at the same time enhance this drive towards the future which is typical of Paolo Conte’s music, around the film was conceived by Sugarmusic a larger, ambitious, contemporary and multiplatform project which also includes:
a album in exclusively physical format – vinyl and CD released by Sugar on November 24th – unique and definitive testimony of a historical event, the first and therefore unrepeatable in Italian and international musical entertainment.
a podcasts – produced by Sugar Play in collaboration with Chora Media written and narrated by Giulia Cavaliere, online again on November 24th – that is, the most contemporary narrative and digital tool of all, in which a special corpus of voices and contemporary artistic worlds such as Caterina will have space Caselli, Francesco De Gregori, Lucio Corsi, Francesco Bianconi, Dente, Colapesce and Dimartino, Mahmood and the linguist Beatrice Cristalli who will ferry Paolo Conte from the twentieth century to tomorrow, projecting him into the future of music and songs in our language.