Thirty years on from his theatrical representation of the work of Dante, Federico Tiezzi returns to present a completely new staging with three shows based on the dramaturgy that was created at the time by Edoardo Sanguineti, Mario Luzi and Giovanni Giudici.
Tiezzi has chosen to begin with Purgatory, as this is the canticle of friendship and art. The characters are, above all, musicians, painters and poets, art is the subject of discussion, and possible the path to salvation. The canticle examines matters of poetry and faith, of brotherhood and artistry. All of this is a prelude to the encounter with Beatrice in Earthly Paradise, where the young woman beloved by Dante maternally scolds him for having lost the way of conscience. Purgatory is also the canticle of hope, that form of hope that, at this moment in time, is more important than ever; that form of hope that represents the desire for a different world, and a yearning and a striving towards a better understanding of reality. A form of hope that represents transformation and an aspiring for good.
As Luzi wrote, in Purgatory “time exists”, the same sun that illuminates the inhabited world shines there, and night follows day, dawn is followed by sunset, and the souls speak of their past lives with the nostalgia and fondness of Beckett’s characters. It is similar to humankind’s classic setting on the Earth yet is touched with the divine grace that lends life a gentleness and hope in the midst of daily suffering. In this place, where time exists (the other two canticles are characterised by eternal suffering or bliss), the exhausted poet can consider sleeping and dreaming. It is the presence of dreams that renders this canticle particular, and in the hands of Tiezzi it expands into a form of psychoanalysis.
Tiezzi writes: “The vision of the world and of humankind offered to us by the Comedy. a work that contributed to the creation of European culture at the meeting point between ancient and modern times, is one of the widest-ranging and profound ever to be seen in literature, with its knowledgeable ability to embrace all aspects of reality through humanity. The roots of our culture - philosophy, ethics, aesthetics, politics and theatre - lie deep within the poem. Dante’s poem expresses the profound spirit of a form of culture that Europe continues to draw upon for internal insight into its reason for existence. My aim, with this piece, is to demonstrate that Dante is not only the theologian, the moralist and the politician that we are taught about; he is also a passionate seeker of what he himself calls human happiness, i.e., humankind’s highest state”.
The play, co-funded and supported by the National Committee for celebrations surrounding the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri, will be co-produced by the Associazione Teatrale Pistoiese, Fondazione Teatro Metastasio, Compagnia Lombardi Tiezzi, Campania Teatro Festival, Teatro di Napoli – Teatro Nazionale; in collaboration with the Accademia della Crusca, l’Università per Stranieri di Siena, l’Opera di Santa Croce, l’Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, la Certosa di Firenze/Municipality of San Leolino and Fondazione Sistema Toscana/Manifatture Digitali Cinema Prato; with the support of the Ministry of Culture and the contribution of the Tuscany Region and the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia e Pescia.
120' without interval