Dear President Conte,
While I understand your difficult responsibilities in this long and tragic period for our country, and with the paramount necessity to safeguard the health of our fellow citizens, I feel the need to make a heartfelt appeal to you.
Closing concert halls and theatres is a grave decision indeed. The impoverishment of the mind and spirit is dangerous and also harms the health of the body. To define theatrical and musical activity, as I have heard some government representatives say, as “superfluous” is an expression of ignorance, and shows a lack of culture and sensitivity.
Such a decision does not take into account the sacrifice and suffering of thousands of artists and workers from all sectors of the performing arts, who find this decision an affront to their professional dignity and gives cause for great apprehension for their futures.
I ask you, confident that I’m conveying the thoughts not only of the artists but also of much of the public, to give life back to theatrical and musical activities so they can provide the spiritual sustenance that without which society is becoming more and more brutalised.
The theatres are governed by people who are well aware of the anti-Covid regulations and the safety measures indicated, and rules have always been meticulously respected.
I hope that you will listen to this appeal,
With warm regards,
Muti Riccardo and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra photo by Todd Rosenberg
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.