Duration: 50 minutes without interval
Sonia Bergamasco reads writings, notations and notes by Fernanda Wittgens, a historian and art critic, a determined woman who always placed her love of art and her ethical and civil sense before “safe” choices.
A refined scholar, the first female Superintendent at the Gallery of Milan and the first woman in Italy to win the competition for the position in 1940, Wittgens promptly, and with energy, participated in the saving of numerous Milanese monuments from irreparable war damage. Leonardo da VInci’s Last Supper was protected from gunshot and the violence of the explosions and was miraculously saved from destruction: “The Last Supper is safe”! Exclaim the notes and reports following bombing. In post-war Milan, which bore serious damage to the most important locations and monuments from its history and culture, caused by years of world and civil war, Wittgens managed to work another miracle. She worked with determination and strength to ensure that the reconstruction of monuments was considered necessary and a priority, on a par with that of factories, hospitals and schools.
Thus, the end of the 1940s saw the Mayor, Greppi, surrounded by extraordinary men and women: these included, as well as Wittgens, Arturo Ghiringhelli, who, until May 1946, coordinated the reconstruction of the Scala to which he was to become superintendent, and Paolo Grassi and Giorgio Strehler, who opened the Piccolo Teatro on 14 May 1947. This is also the reason for the harmony that lead the Piccolo and the Museum of the Last Supper to work together for the creation of a series of readings by Marco Rampoli, based on the writings of Fernanda Wittgens.
Sonia Bergamasco lends voice and body to a woman who filled her role in public service for the protection of public assets in the most noble of manners and was always true to her ideals - even in the terrible context of the racial laws - and dedicated herself entirely to the conservation and valorsation of the wealth of Milan and the world. She dedicates a fundamental tribute to the miracle of Leonardo da Vinci, and its restoration after the deep war wounds which she describes “with much vital energy” sacrificed for Leonardo over a period of eight years.
The play will be shown at the Last Supper Museum to a necessarily restricted audience on 25 September in two performances, and again on 26 and 27, held at the Teatro Grassi, significant as another important symbol of reconstruction.
Piccolo Teatro Grassi
26 and 27 September 2018
Il miracolo della cena
directed by Marco Rampoldi
in collaboration with dramaturg Paola Ornati
readings by Sonia Bergamasco
A Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa production
in collaboration with Museo del Cenacolo Vinciano
Polo Museale della Lombardia
Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism