The first performance of La Scala Ballet this season will take place on 1 October when Madina will finally receive its world premiere. Mauro Bigonzetti’s new work was due to open on 22 March last year and was in rehearsal when lockdown began in Milan.
The music is by Fabio Vacchi on a libretto by the French writer Emmanuelle de Villepin, based on her novel The Girl Who Did Not Want to Die. Roberto Bolle will dance alongside Antonella Albano who plays Madina.
The work combines many theatrical disciplines by using the ballet company together with singers and an actor. The powerful drama tackles the subject of terrorism and the ability to choose a different destiny from the one that the tragedies of our time seem to have written for us. Although precise references to the events have been removed from the libretto, it is based on a true story.
Madina is a girl who lives in a country that has been invaded, whose family has been destroyed and who, after suffering violence from the occupying troops, is pushed by her family to commit a suicide attack in a large city in the west. She rebels at the last moment but ends up on trial. Her story questions the moralities of those who pushed her to martyrdom, as well as those who created or tolerated the conditions which led to her act.
The work is full of conflictual feelings with hope for change, touching on ancestral impulses, symbolic places, and the perverse dynamics of violence that kills itself, where good and evil are opposed but continue to mingle.
The theatre’s étoile, Roberto Bolle, will dance for four of the performances (on stage on 1, 7,12 and 14 October), with Antonella Albano and the artists of the Corps de Ballet of La Scala. The actor is Fabrizio Falco, and the singers are mezzo-soprano Anna-Doris Capitelli and tenor Chuan Wang. On the podium for this premiere from one of Italy’s most important contemporary composers is Michele Gamba. Lights and scenes are by Carlo Cerri, and costumes are by Maurizio Millenotti.
Tickets: www.teatroallacala.org (currently 930 seats can be sold per performance and a Green Pass is required to enter the theatre)
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.