Francesca da Rimini at La Scala, Milan

Francesca-da-Rimini-La-Scala-Milano“15 April-13 May [2018]. This is the first time Francesca da Rimini, inspired by D’ Annunzio’s novel of the same name written in 1901, returns to La Scala in six decades.

“Zandonai’s opera, his most successful, was performed in Turin for the first time in 1914. This new La Scala production is conducted by Fabio Luisi and directed by David Pountney with Maria José Siri in the lead role. Pountney is a British theatre and opera director known for his productions of rarely performed or new works. Teatro alla Scala, Via Filodrammatici 2, www.teatroallascala.org.” — Posted on wantedinmilan.com

L’Inferno delle Albe, Ravenna (2017)

Inferno-delle-Albe-Ravenna-2017“Ecco, presa con le dovute pinze la schematizzazione, una situazione analoga si presenta con il nuovo progetto del Teatro delle Albe. Va vissuto come spettacolo o come chiamata cittadina al teatro? Perché Inferno è entrambe le cose. Quale dunque la sintesi? Andiamo con ordine.

[…]

“Quello delle Albe non è un inferno filologico alla maniera dantesca, è una contaminazione di immaginari: passati e presenti. L’Inferno si fa veramente il luogo della perversione dell’io, quello in cui ciascuno si accanisce sul suo prossimo, bercia la propria ossessione, si strugge nella pena,  ma non sa dialogare, non riesce in alcun modo a stabilire una relazione. Ed ecco allora che la presenza purissima di Montanari e Martinelli più che una guida viene a rappresentare una fulgida luce nel buio eterno. Ecco che quell’unità pervicace, serena, limpida, nonostante le masnade di anime perse, marca la traccia di un ritrovarsi che è l’unica possibilità di vita, di vita vera, a questo mondo.” — Giulio Sonno, “Ma io, perché venirvi? Arte e partecipazione nell’Inferno delle Albe,” paperstreet.it (June 23, 2017)

Ravenna16 giugno 2017

INFERNO
Chiamata pubblica per la “Divina Commedia” di Dante Alighieri

ideazione, direzione artistica e regia: Marco Martinelli e Ermanna Montanari
in scena: Ermanna Montanari, Marco Martinelli, Alessandro Argnani, Luigi Dadina, Roberto Magnani, Gianni Plazzi, Massimiliano Rassu, Laura Redaelli, Alessandro Renda e i cittadini della Chiamata Pubblica

Of the plans for the project, artistic directors Marco Martinelli and Ermanna Montanari explain, “The key with which we have translated the Dantesque ‘transcendence of human nature’ is to think of the work in terms of sacred mediaeval representations and the revolutionary mass theatre of Majakovskij: the whole city is a stage, all the citizens are called upon to ‘becoming a place’, to make a community.” For more information, including press releases and awards, see the Teatro delle Albe website.

See also the review by Massimo Merino on doppiozero.it.

Dante’s Inferno: A Modern Telling, by Craft Theatre (2015)

Craft-Theatre-Dantes-Inferno-A-Modern-Retelling

“‘For the people tired of the same money generating schemes on the West End. For the people who crave different kinds of honesty from their theatre. For the people who have never connected to any theatre. For the people who search. For the people who question. For the people who struggle. For the 99%.’ These are the bold and powerful claims that Rocky Rodriguez Jr. makes in his director’s note for Dante’s Inferno: A Modern Telling. Staged in the warehouse-like Rag Factory, we meet Dante who is unfulfilled, demoralised and trapped in the rat race, and what’s more he can see no means of escaping his nihilistic existence. Craft Theatre intersperses Dante Alighieri’s original text with sections penned by John Cage, Rocky Rodriguez Jr, and the ever topical Russell Brand. This modern day retelling of Dante’s suffering and quest for redemption still feels as applicable to present day society as when Dante first wrote it, if not more so.” — Review by Ruby-isla Cera-Marle, A Younger Theatre (January 21, 2015)

Learn more at the Craft Theatre Blog.

The Divine Comedy, Barons Court Theatre (2017)

Dantes-Divine-Comedy-Barons-Court-Theatre“It’s Dante lite, but the adaptation hasn’t diminished the spirit of the original nor the theological arguments although it’s cut them down a bit. Sometimes, to speed thing up they revert  to modern dialogue and fruity language with a few  witty touches. We know when they’ve arrived in purgatory as there’s underground station sign, and when they set off for Paradise they go on the underground, strap hanging and swaying as they sing and wonder what awaits them there.

“It’s an ambitious undertaking in limited surroundings with only sticks and chairs for props, but it’s the genius use of lighting and shadows that really carries it off. An angel sprouts wings, a balloon become a head and speaks, and with some cardboard cut outs one of the sinners gets eaten by dogs. Later, instead of crossing the River Styx, Dante is carried through space with impressive use of what looks like footage from the Hubble Telescope and/or the International Space Station.” — Hammersmith Today review

Presented by So It Goes Theatre.

Read an interview with Artistic Director Douglas Baker here.

 

 

Ben Brantley, “‘Miles for Mary,’ a Sendup of the Interminable Meeting From Hell”

“Though Dante cataloged many forms of diabolical torture in his Inferno, a guided tour of hell, he somehow missed out on what could well be the most excruciating eternal punishment of all. I mean (ominous organ chords, please) the staff meeting that never, ever ends.” –Ben Brantley, “Review: ‘Miles for Mary,’ a Sendup of the Interminable Meeting From Hell,” New York Times, October 9, 2016

review-miles-for-mary-sendup-interminable-meeting-hell

Michael Counts, Paradiso: Chapter I, immersive theater (2016)

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[…]  “Illusion is a staple in all kinds of theater, but it is doubly vital to Paradiso, a suspense thriller that is also a game. Using a structure that borrows from Dante’s Divine Comedy, it has a vibe that, in Mr. Counts’s telling, owes something to Ridley Scott’s futuristic classic Blade Runner and the TV drama Mr. Robot.

“With a plot that involves a conspiracy, it’s a narrative-driven twist on the increasingly popular escape-room genre of participatory entertainment. According to convention, a group of people is closed in a room, or sequence of rooms, with a single collective aim: to solve a series of puzzles in under an hour. Their prize is liberty — which, it’s true, will come at the end of the hour either way.” […]    –Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times, July 7, 2016

“PARADISO: Chapter 1 drops audience members (10 at a time) into a noir-ish nightmare that combines the surreal mystery of Stanley Kubrik with the stylized futuristic terror of Blade Runner into a one hour immersive theatrical Escape Room experience set in and inspired by the heart of New York’s Korea Town. Featuring a cast of dozens, highly designed sets with state-of-the-art special effects and the next generation of puzzles and mind-bending challenges, this immersive attraction is unlike anything audiences have ever seen or experienced.”    –from the Paradiso: Chapter I FAQs

Paradiso: Chapter 1 website

Contributed by Emma Pyle (Bowdoin, ’12)

Censorship and Betrayal in Russia

Russian ArtistsRachel Donadio‘s article for The New York Times, “Russian Artists Face a Choice: Censor Themselves, or Else,” discusses the difference between legislation and enforcement of censorship in contemporary Russian theater.

“Russia has a thriving theater scene and a constitution that bans top-down, Soviet-style censorship. But in a time of economic turmoil and growing nationalism, with society polarized in unpredictable and emotional ways over the new laws and the war in Ukraine, cultural figures say the message from the government is clear: Fall in line with the emphasis on family and religious values, or lose funding, or worse.

“‘It’s about betrayal — those who betray are put in the Ninth Circle of Hell, like in Dante,’ Kirill Serebrennikov, a prominent theater and film director and the director of the Gogol Center, a cornerstone of Moscow’s theater scene, said in a recent interview here. The result, he said, was to put writers and directors ‘between Scylla and Charybdis — between censorship or self-censorship.'”    —The New York Times

Read the entire article here.

“Daily Life Everlasting”

Daily Life EverlastingDaily Life Everlasting” is a dance-theater piece written by Charles L. Mee and directed by Dan Safer, performed at La MaMa in New York City by Witness Relocation.

“The third collaboration between Witness Relocation and acclaimed writer Charles Mee, in which people meet, fall in love, make out with each other, find being alive awkward but funny, and dance quite a lot. With original songs by Obie-winning composer Heather Christian and costume design by Brooklyn-based maverick fashion designer Brad Callahan.”    —La MaMa

“When the actors do speak Mr. Mee’s lines, they’re usually playing with or around or against them — and probably nuzzling each other at the same time. Plato is name-dropped. And Aristotle. And Dante. But love and lust rather than dusty old books set the play’s libidinous heart aflutter.”    —The New York Times

Dante Inferno Piekło (1997)

Dante PiekloIn 1997, Polish and Italian artists staged an adaptation of the Inferno at the Franciscan Church in Kraków. Pictured is the poster for the show, created by Rafal Olbinski.

 

James Sewell Ballet, Inferno (2014)

ballet james sewell inferno

“Dante’s Inferno is the ­ultimate midlife crisis story.

“The Italian poet’s 14th-century epic confronts the dangerous path toward personal ruin but also rails against piety and greed in a fiery commentary, still relevant today, on the corrupting forces within religion, business and politics.

“On Friday night, James Sewell Ballet flung open the gates of hell and let its depraved denizens run wild at the Cowles Center. Who knows how Dante might have envisioned his poem brought to life, but this interpretation captures its disquieting spirit.” [ . . . ]

“There are clever moments including the descent into hell via New York City subway with damned souls as straphangers, a barb against resident Ayn Rand (‘nobody likes her’) and the swirling dances of those doomed to an eternity living out their lusts (this is an R-rated show by the way).”   –Caroline Palmer, “James Sewell Ballet’s Inferno,” Minneapolis Star Tribune, April 28, 2014

Contributed by Iris McComb (Bowdoin ’14)