This concert not only concludes the 39th Cantiere, but also the three-year cycle dedicated to three of the elements which make up the universe: Fire, Water and Air. The program is pervaded by passion soaring towards the celestial spheres, right up to the Elysium lauded by Pinsuti-Glanert’. The energy of the Overture from William Tell, the “apotheosis of dance” of the Seventh Symphony and the sublime musicality of Te Deum produce a universe of sounds which continue to increase and multiply the emotions of every listener with inexhaustible force.
Symphonic Orchestra Royal Northern College of Music – Manchester
Corale Poliziana | Coro di Pescara
Eleonora Contucci, soprano | Romina Boscolo, mezzosoprano
Marco Rencinai, tenore | Florian Plock, basso
Roland Böer, conductor
Gioacchino Rossini, Guglierlmo Tell - Symphony
Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony n. 7 in A dur op. 92
Ciro Pinsuti, Te Deum (reconstruction by Detlev Glanert - world preview)
Julius Fučík, Marcia fiorentina “La rosa della Toscana” op. 214
MONTEPULCIANO, PIAZZA GRANDE, AUGUST 1st 2014 9,30pm
SIENA, PIAZZA DUOMO, AUGUST 2nd 2014 9,30pm
Opera by Pierre Thilloy based on a text written by André Gide
André Gide (1869-1951) was already a famous writer, well-known for his provocative and scandalous positions, when he published his first real novel, The Counterfeiters (Les Faux-Monnayeurs) in 1925 in the Nouvelle Revue Française. With its many characters and intertwining plotlines, it is a subtle play on mirroring: a novel-within-anovel with Edouard (the alter ego of Gide) intending to write a book of the same title. In the middle of the novel we read: “I invented the novelist who is the central character; the subject of the book is the fight between what reality offers him and what he would do with it instead”. The complex structure of the novel interweaves stories of young people, their falls and achievements. The common thread in Gide’s kaleidoscopic reality is the revelation that humankind has a moral and spiritual responsibility. This world of illusion, the 'dream-within-a-dream', that André Gide so loved is mirrored in the composition technique and execution of Pierre Thilloy, commissioned by the artistic direction of the 39° Cantiere for this ambitious new production which joins live musical execution with virtual expression in a multimedia project rich in originality.
“This opera intends to be un peu du vent” explains Thilloy – it is an airy opera because everything lives through illusions. This perspective is the connection with the chosen theme for this year’s Cantiere: Air.
As Ramuz said in his Souvenirs sur Stravinsky, it is practically impossible to produce a show entirely faithful to André Gide's original work, if for no other reason than the sheer number of characters which would automatically make it impossibly expensive. For this reason the Fondation Catherine Gide, the show's commissioner, invited the French playwright J.P. Prévost to write an adaptation.
Thilloy's composition for I falsari is perfectly coherent with the novel's structure and enhances its continuous illusions by proposing a new sound concept for opera: the voices are reworked using an electronic support.
The previously recorded performances are digitalized and modified in postproduction: the tracks are played during the theater performance in an audiovisual version and are fully inserted into the live performance. Even the acoustic interpretation of the strings and piano is enriched with electronic sequences, in an attempt to both explore and reach beyond the limits of the various musical styles. This is, therefore, a creative analysis by the composer Thilloy who imagines various languages describing themselves and as Gide's text is influenced by mathematical theories, in particular by the fractal theory, the composer has given us scientifically inspired music, closely connected with the intrinsic characteristics of electronic structures. At the same time, the video projections interact with the live performance, revealing an artistic short circuit which requires sound planning in the composition phase and precision in the performance phase. The opera is at one and the same time both real and virtual: in fact, some of the roles have been previously filmed and the registrations have been integrated into the video material as have the stage scenes painted by Christian Gardair who also produced the video base and provided the off-stage voice of Gide and all the epistolary parts of the libretto.
THE COUNTERFEITERS (Les faux-monnayeurs)
by Pierre Thilloy
based on a André Gide text
Vincent Monteil, conductor
Guy-Pierre Couleau, direction, scenes, costumes
Coproduction Fondazione Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte
and Comédie de l’Est-Centre dramatique National d’Alsace
in collaboration with Fondation Catherine Gide e Kords
MONTEPULCIANO, Teatro Poliziano, July 24th ore 9,30pm
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War, the 39th Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte is staging an itinerant Storia del Soldato – Histoire du Soldat by I. Stravinsky, with words by Swiss writer C. F. Ramuz. Amongst the many artistic revolutions which occurred during the first world war, La Storia del Soldato is one of the most surprising for its modernity, its esthetics and the experimental combination of music, theatre and dance.
Storia del Soldato is staged in four of the towns which are part of Fondazione Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte: Montepulciano, Sarteano, Cetona and San Casciano dei Bagni, reinforcing the important partnership between Montepulciano and its surroundings and respecting Stravinsky’s conception of the performance. In 1918, in fact, the composer and some of his friends felt the need to put on some easily staged music and theatre productions in small towns in Switzerland as a remedy against the dreadful economic situation of that last year of the War. The initial plan was to start the tour in Lausanne and move from village to village with a sort of caravan, but this unfortunately never happened due to the “Spanish flu" plague.
The project involves local and foreign musicians, professionals and amateurs, who are conducted by Fabio Maestri and directed by Jean-Philippe Clarc and Olivier Deloeuil of the C&D Le Lab of Bordeaux.
Cooperation between amateurs and professionals is not only the most authentic feature of the Cantiere but was also that of Stravinsky who originally composed the piece for amateur students and wished for this formula to continue in future performances. The staging of La storia del Soldato recalls the staging of the same show which was put on during the 1977 Cantiere, where two of the fundamental features of this year’s performance were already present: the combination of professionals (music ensemble) and local amateurs (actors and directors – at the time Carlo Pasquini) and touring around Monepulciano surroundings.
The story is a contemporary version of the Faust myth, with the First World War as a backdrop. A Soldier marches to his hometown on leave during the First World War and by chance meets the Devil in disguise who offers him a book which contains untold wealth in exchange for his fiddle. In accepting the trade, he also agrees to follow the Devil home for three days to learn about the book and to teach him about the violin. At the end of the three days, the Soldier realizes that, in fact, three years have passed: his girlfriend has married another man and has children, and his mother, like everyone else in the village, believes he is dead. The Soldier runs into the Devil in a new disguise who reminds him to use the book’s magic powers and with his knowledge he quickly amasses great wealth. However, he soon realizes that he wants to win back the life he had before and his beloved. The Devil visits him dressed up in a different way and shows him the fiddle which once belonged to him and which the Soldier wants to buy from him. When he finds out that the violin makes no sound, he hurls it away and tears the book up.
The Soldier is now poor and while returning to his hometown, he arrives in a foreign village where he hears the news that the King’s daughter is ill and whoever will be able to raise her from her bed will be given her hand in marriage. The Soldier meets the Devil once again, dressed up as virtuoso violinist, and they start playing cards together: he loses all his money and goods but finally gets his fiddle back. He enters the Princess’ room and starts playing his violin; the Princess is miraculously resurrected and begins to dance, first a tango, then a waltz and then a ragtime. The Soldier and the Princess embrace but suddenly the Devil arrives. The Soldier realizes he can defeat the Devil by playing his fiddle. The Soldier and the Princess marry but soon after the wedding he is tempted by the idea of re-conquering his beloved in his hometown. As soon as he passes the frontier post of the castle the Devil takes control of him again and steals his violin. The Soldier gives up trying to fight against the Devil.
Putting the audience and their everyday context at the heart of the performance, the staging is inspired by travelling theater and takes inspiration from contemporary art installations in situ. The audience takes part in a multidisciplinary art happening where music, theatre and contemporary art are questioned by the actors onstage to the spectators, who become part of the performance. The clear line which defines the roles of actors, musicians and spectators is purposely no longer visible. Everyone takes part in Storia del Soldato, a show which changes at every performance. The only unambiguous element of the scene is a big, light-colored wood structure, which can be completely taken apart, and which leans on a military truck during the show.
The minimalistic esthetic pursued in this adaptation encouraged us to choose plain, austere lighting, costumes and accessories which all carry strong symbolic meaning. The close relationship between performers and spectators and its extreme minimalism are the defining elements which make the show original, and both simple and sophisticated at the same time.
The directors write: “It is a show about war, without battles or special effects. The story is shorn of all superficial elements but not of its strength. It’s not a historical play about the First World War but a show inspired by it. The soldier in the story isn’t a specific person but every soldier who took part in the war. It’s not a show about Europe in 1914, but rather a show about Europe today, a performance about each one of us, right here and now.”
Histoire du Soldat represents an innovative turning point in music esthetics of the XX century: It is a perfectly realized experiment of musical theatre, where the relationship between acting and singing, scene and orchestra are completely renovated. For the same reasons which inspired the conception of the composition, it is written for a chamber orchestra which is the miniature version of a symphonic one.
He creates a broad color scale, simply by choosing highly representative instruments from each family. He chooses those with the highest and the lowest pitch for the strings, the violin and double bass; among woodwinds, he opts for the clarinet, because it has the widest register, and the bassoon; he picks out the cornet and the trombone from among the brass instruments; and finally, a percussion set. He exalts the timbre, register and color of each instrument and achieves an extraordinary effect.
The score is a series of clearly differentiated pieces which each develop a precise rhythm-timbre concept. It is presented as a sort of a suite and includes different styles which now and again ironically allude to a western tradition: a folk French song, a Spanish paso-doble, a ragtime, an Argentinian tango, a Waltz, two Lutheran chorals.
Orpheus and Eurydice is a myth that can perfectly convey the message of the progress of time and of the human development.
When it was first conceived, about 3000 years ago, the Greek culture was a purely oral culture: knowledge, as well as stories and tales, were passed on by means of the spoken word. The chanter, known in ancient Greece as ‘Aoidos’, was the one in charge of this communication: he declaimed his verse (mostly improvised, using fixed poetic schemes which he repeated and revised time by time) with a lyre, singing about different myths. Because the idea of fiction as we know it today (meaning stories and tales ‘recorded’ on an external support such as paper) did not exist yet, the chanter's tales were lost as soon as his action-performance ended.
This is why a tale such as the one of Orpheus and Eurydice was born. By means of his character of poet and ancient chanter, Orpheus justifies the existence of many aoidos who could narrate his deeds. As the myth tells, since he was not able to bring Eurydice back to life, Orpheus is condemned to spend the rest of his existence wandering and telling everyone his tragic story. It is said, in fact, that every single chanter in Thrace (Orpehus’ native land) knew the sad story of Orpheus and his beautiful Eurydice. This is indeed how the first chanter was born and how he started passing down the art of music and poetry from generation to generation. And the reason why many more chanters followed is exactly to keep on handing down this and many other tales.
With time though, humanity switched from orality to literacy. This transition, which definitely represents one of the most important technical evolutions of mankind, had some repercussions on the myth of Orpheus as well.
In fact, there are some major changes also in the opera versions by Gluck and Calzabigi. The most important one can be found in the finale of the opera, meaning in that part of the story that best gives a testimony of the ancient oral culture, given that the second and ultimate death of Eurydice is directly leading up to the conclusive moral of the chanter’s ‘birth’. In 1762 though, humanity was definitely not anymore in the era of oral culture. On the contrary, it was the age of Enlightenment, of the power of reason and of the circulation of knowledge. Nothing was left to chance: literature was not based on improvisation anymore but on careful consideration and reflection. Narration took place by means of essays, novels or short stories. Gluck himself was a ‘writer’ par excellence: fed up with the singers of his time, castrati who loved to show off their abilities to the detriment of the character, he did his best to write down and fix his opera note by note, in order to make sure that no one could modify to his liking any part of it. This was his most important reform.
This is why Orpheus needed a modernization too. Exactly like his predecessor did, he will not pass the test: unable to resist to the sweet words of his beloved, he will turn around to look at her and, by doing so, he will condemn her again and forever to the Underworld. However, instead of returning empty-handed to the world, Amore will symbolically give him back his Eurydice, as if to say that there is no need to wander from land to land singing and improvising, because his story will now be told anyway. This is because recording overcomes improvisation, literacy overcomes orality and sight overcomes listening.
Two and a half centuries later, we still all know the story of Orpheus and Eurydice, even if the world has gone through some major and profound changes. This is why today we need to introduce our version of the myth, keeping faith with the idea of art as a ‘reflection of society’.
Therefore if we watch closely at our time, we can immediately realise we are living that moment that Walter J. Ong (cultural and religious historian, philosopher and anthropologist) defined ‘an era dominated by secondary orality’. This means that today we are less and less used to read and we rely more and more often on the ‘distant voice’ of the new media such as radio, television, computer and Internet. And those few times we read, it’s usually a spot-reading: our minds are instilled with tiny pieces of sentences ‘stolen’ from incessant advertisements surrounding us. In a way, we are more and more inclined to a relapse into illiteracy while, at the same time, we are continuously bombarded with images and pictures. This means that, in our time, the boundary between orality and literacy does not exist anymore, it is a lot less defined and difficult to identify.
All this brings us to one direct consequence with regard to ‘our’ Orpheus: it was necessary that he lived in our current time in order to transmit to the future generations a new version of the myth, still highly significant. This is why, when answering the question ‘Who is this new Orpheus?’ we could only look at artists, musicians and poets of our time. And exactly like many of today’s rock star, our Orpheus will not be simply a poet and a singer (or maybe a songwriter, as for instance in folk music), but he will be a symbol, too: an icon, idolized by his fans exactly like the ancient Orpheus was idolized by the intoxicated maenads who longed to have him, in the grip of an orgiastic excitement. He represents a sort of a modern Dionysus, a God in fact: a God of rock. This is why the world around him is exactly the world of a rock star: a world made of joy and sorrow, excesses and wildness, speed and extreme experiences, leading him very often close to death. In fact, he will be constantly fascinated by death and he will feel alive only in relation to it. It is important not to forget that in the original myth, Orpheus was described as a shaman who could charm both humans and gods, alive and dead, wild beasts and animals with his music. He had a special ability: he could access both the human world and the dark paths of the Underworld.
So how could we tell the story of this journey with a modern take? We decided to stop the moment of death in one single instant: a suspended moment in which Orpheus will have his life flash before his eyes. Orpheus will be forced to follow his journey exactly in this blink of an eye. He will have to travel in a partially mental place, suspended in a limbo, hanging in the balance between life and death, in a strenuous attempt to get Eurydice back in order to hang on to her memory and not to lose her.
Nevertheless, as we slowly progressed to the end of the opera, it was essential for us to answer another important question, namely will Orpheus be able to bring Eurydice back to life? And also: in a modern take of the myth taking place in our contemporary world, is it right for Orpheus to manage to get Eurydice back, in spite of all his failures? The answers can obviously be found in our opera.
It is certain though that, because this story was handed down to us, it was our uttermost duty that ‘this’ Orpheus could hand it down again to our audience and to the posterity. It was fundamental that this chanter could narrate once again the tale of Orpheus and his Muse, the beautiful Eurydice, in order to make us reflect upon ourselves, today, once again.
This is the last impression we wanted our opera to transmit: the regained importance of handing down a message orally by means of music and poetry, as a symbol of a real communication of a moral and of a teaching that today, at times, is going missing.
Stefano Simone Pintor
by C. W. Gluck
Sikle Marchfeld, Orfeo
Roma Loukes, Euridice
Georgina Louise Stalbow, Amore
Roland Böer, conductor
Stefano Simone Pintor, director
Gregorio Zurla, scenes
Noémie Grottini, costumes
Gianni Trabalzini, stage lightning
Virginio Levrio, Gregorio Zurla, Stefano Simone Pintor, video intervenctions
Maria Stella Poggioni e Stefano Simone Pintor, choreography
in collaboration with École de ballet
Mauro Montanari, graphic project
Lisa Frigo, maestro sostituto
Gabriele Centorbi, musical assistent
Emilio Zanetti, direction assistent
Elena Colombo, scenes assistent
Stefania Coretti, costumes assistent
JULY 18th AND 19th 9,30pm
JULY 20th 5,30pm
The “Giulio Neri” International Singing Competition will take place in Torrita di Siena from March 28 to 30, 2014. The competition is well recognized in Italy due to its picturesque location in the beautiful Tuscan countryside and to the professional organization of the event.
The competition will be held for the eighth edition at the Teatro degli Oscuri, piazza Matteotti, is organized by the Comune di Torrita di Siena and the Fondazione Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte, with Eleonora Leonini as Artistic Director.
A very eminent board will evaluate the competitors: 5 jury members representing 5 different musical areas. The jury’s president will be the great conductor M° Roland Böer, who’s also the music director of the Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte. Others names stand out in the jury: Guido Barbieri, musicologist, music critic for the national newspaper “La Repubblica” and Riccardo Zanellato, the famous bass. Angelo Gabrielli is one of the most active opera manager, and Nemi Bertagni is a Professor at the Conservatorio A. Boito, Parma.
Six prizes will be assigned, making a total of 4.700 Euros.
First prize > € 2.000,00
Second prize > € 1.000,00
Third prize > € 500,00
Prize "Giulio Neri" > € 500,00
offered by Comune di Torrita di Siena to the best Bass in memory of G. Neri
Young talents prize > € 300,00
offered by Amedeo Monfardini to the young singers born from January1st 1989.
Not to forget the Audience Prize: during the Final, on Sunday, March 30, 4pm, the most appreciated competitor will be rewarded with a 400 Euros prize. Experts, and beginners as well, will express their preference and reward the best singer.
For the audience the entrance is free throughout the Competition.
Several opera arias will be executed, linked to various eras and signed by different composers. The singers will come from all over the world. The competition is dedicated to Giulio Neri, a bass from Torrita di Siena that after winning an award at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino became a worldwide renown singer and performed in numerous famous theatres like the Metropolitan in New York and the Covent Garden in London.
As in the previous years we will witness to the partnership between the Municipality of Torrita di Siena and the Fondazione Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte di Montepanoulciano, which resulted also in the organization of beautiful concerts during the Cantere Internazionale d’Arte.
CLICK HERE TO FILL IN THE APPLICATION FORM
INFO E ISCRIZIONI
Fondazione Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte
Tel. (+39) 0578 757007 | (+39) 0578 757089
The founder of the Cantiere was awarded from Florence University.
Among the reasons was also the spread of music education in Montepulciano.
The composer created a fruitful encounter between Italy and Germany.
The Univeristy of Florence conferred the honarary degree in Musicology and Musical Heritage to Hans Werner Henze - creator of the Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte in Montepulciano . The ceremony took place at Battilani hall on Friday 4 October 2013 : The award had actually already been given in October 2012, but the German composer, who died a few days later, could not come to receive the award. A year after the artist's death, the diploma was handed over to Michael Kerstan, heir of Henze, during an event which was strongly supported by a group of German and musicology teachers, who had the
initiative in the first place.
The degree was conferred to Henze "in recognition of his distinguished career as an international musician; for his contribution to innovation of the modern language; for his lesson to spread music teaching between young people, with universally recognized results, for the civil commitment which was a big part of his life and both as
an artist and as a human being."
Hans Werner Henze achieved the highest recognitions for his extraordinary artistic works, from symphonies, music for theatre, ballet and soundtracks. His figure has emerged throughout the late 20th century because of the amplitude and continuity of his artistic work, his will towards research and experimentation, as well as his intellectual and moral commitment. Henze played an important role in high cultural mediation between Italy and Germany, starting in 1953 when he left his country and moved into ours. In 1976 , at the peak of his artistic maturity, Henze founded the Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte in Montepulciano for production and knowledge of contemporary music, creating in the Tuscan town one of the most fruitful and central meeting point between Italy and Germany , both in the music and literature.
The Closing Concert is the most anticipated and popular event of the Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte. The magical stage in Piazza Grande, 150 musicians together, a conductor among the most popular in Europe: this is all happening in Montepulciano Sunday, July 28, at 9:30pm. A monumental concert, led by Roland Böer. The orchestra comes from a prestigious British institution, the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. But there will also be choral groups of the territory: the Corale Poliziana directed by Judi Diodato, the Corale Arcadelt Chiusi directed by Barbara Valdambrini and Corale Verdi Arcidosso directed by Massimo Muratori.
Among the singers internationally known we will see the most famous are the French soprano Sylvie Valayre and the baritone Ralf Lukas. A sumptuous project that combines international stars and local talent, in the most genuine spirit of the Cantiere: without receiving a fee, but only in exchange of hospitality. This artistic residency is, above all, a human and social comparison.
“WE ARE ALL TEACHERS HERE, AND STUDENTS AS WELL”
Hans Werner Henze
For the first time in Italy, the work The three water games / Drei Wasserspiele written by the composer Detlev Glanert from Hamburg, will be performed at the Teatro Poliziano on Friday July 26 at 9:30pm (repeated Saturday, July 27 at 21.30).
The director is Guido J. Rumstadt and the singer and the musicians are from the Hochschule für Musik, Nürnberg.
The trilogy, created by the former and appreciated artistic director of the Cantiere, consists of three pieces conceived in different moments. The title eloquently illustrates the relationship with the underlying theme of this 38th Cantiere: the pivotal element is water, which traditionally carries a variety of symbolic meanings, including purification and rebirth but also threat and death. The three episodes take place near water: the first in the Mediterranean sea, where the boundaries between life and death are blurred, the second on the edge of the Bethesda pool which promises healing from disease, and the last on a derelict ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
The text and the music, but also sets and costumes by Kerstin Narr and all the dramaturgical choices made by Matthias Heilmann, evoke extreme situations of human existence, such as death, illness or hazard: a series of dichotomies between the real and the unreal, between men, angels, gods and mythical creatures.
Drei Wasserspiele is an international production Stadttheater Fürth and Hochschule für Musik, Nürnberg in collaboration with the Accademia Europea di Musica e Arte Palazzo Ricci e Fondazione Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte, and under the patronage of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Rome and the Hochschule für Musik in Köln.
Ticket 20 Euro
The exhibition, “Giorgio de Chirico - Portraiture: Figure and Form” curated by Katherine Robinson, presents 68 works from the Collection of Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico, Rome, in Montepulciano’s Poliziana Fortress. Dedicated to the extraordinary inventor of Metaphysical Painting, the exhibition adds to the series of summer exhibitions that began in 2011 with the Macchiaioli Collection and continued last year with “The Dragon and the Butterfly: Images from China in Montepulciano”.
The Estate Poliziano summer program will thus present a unique artistic event that offers the Italian and international public an occasion to explore the classical theme of portraiture and self-portraiture through the variegated forms created by the great Italian Master Giorgio de Chirico. The 68 works on show include 44 paintings, 7 sculptures and 17 works on paper, encompassing fifty years of the artist’s career (1925-1976). An area will be dedicated to the projection of a historical documentary on the artist. Among the most significant works on show, the section regarding classical portraiture presents important paintings such as Naked Self-portrait and Bathers (with Red Drape in the Countryside), both of 1945, Self-portrait in the Park (1959) and Portrait of Isa in Pink and Black Dress (1934). Whilst de Chirico’s most famous subjects are found in the Neometaphysical section: the Mannequin, represented by Hector and Andromache (1970), the renowned Italian Piazza theme, with Italian Piazza with Statue of Cavour (1974) and the Archaeologists, portrayed in The Thinker (1973) and the captivating Meditator (1971).
The exhibition is organised by Fondazione Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte and Fondazione Giorgio e Isa de Chirico, with the support of the Municipality of Montepulciano, the Province of Siena and the local Rotary Club.
The 38th Cantiere Internazionale d’Arte which is scheduled from 19 to 28 July 2013 in Montepulciano and the Valdichiana surroundings, has been presented in Rome.
Artistic director Vincent Monteil and music director Roland Böer explained the events programmed for the festival which is inspired to water, to the press and officials.
Opera, music, theatre, performance, visual art events are integrated with a special tribute to the founder of the Cantiere, Hans Werner Henze, who passed away last autumn: there are a total of 40 shows all in most suggestive settings. The international prestige of the festival is enriched by the recognition of the European Union which has awarded the Cantiere, the only Italian project financed in the culture festival program. Representatives of the Ministry of Culture and the German Embassy in Rome were also present, which testifies to the prestige of the poliziana event.