NIGHT SEASON 2022-2023
Natura est vita
Teatro Sociale Como’s Night Season 2022-23 joins the celebrations of the bimillenary of birth of Pliny the Elder.
The Theatre dedicates this programming to the well-known writer, admiral and naturalist, born right in Como in 23 b.C., by entitling it with one of his quotes: Natura est vita.
An important event ties Teatro Sociale to Pliny. During the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 A.D., Pliny was at Misenum at the head of the Roman imperial fleet. With the aim of saving his friends and driven by an innate curiosity to observe the phenomenon at close quarters, he set off and landed in Castellammare di Stabia where he found death, suffocated by the volcano’s exhalations. This is the scene depicted by Alessandro San Quirico, the great set designer and painter of the first half of the 19th century, on the theatre’s historical velario, which is lowered and made visible on the most important occasions.
A man of both weapons and letters, Pliny brought together the foundations of knowledge in a humanistic-scientific synthesis, faithful to the principle of utilitas iuvandi, that is meeting people’s needs by disseminating culture. So it was that in 77 he published Naturalis Historia, an encyclopaedic work consisting of 37 books covering numerous topics: cosmology and geography, anthropology, zoology, botany and agriculture, medicine, mineralogy, metallurgy and art history.
On Pliny’s cue, Teatro Sociale Como continues to question Nature and the current global situation we are experiencing, continuing on the path of sustainable development in order to be more and more a bearer of messages of awareness.
A fil rouge that links some of the performances in the programme, not forgetting what has always linked its Night Seasons: the high artistic quality and variety of show genres offered to the public.
As always, the OPERAS produced by OperaLombardia will open the Season. Kicking off will be Mozart’s Don Giovanni (29 September and 1 October) directed by Mario Martone, revived by Raffaele Di Florio, and under the baton of young Maestro Riccardo Bisatti. On 14 and 16 October, the female figure of Bellini’s Norma is on stage, with the direction entrusted to an equally female gaze, that of Elena Barbalich, while the conductor will be Alessandro Bonato. After many years, La Gioconda returns to Como (10 and 13 November). Staging Ponchielli’s Venetian drama will be director, set and costume designer Filippo Tonon, who boasts a long experience as assistant director to important opera directors such as Zeffirelli, Pizzi, De Ana, before working as a director in major opera houses, while conducting the Orchestra of the Fondazione Arena di Verona will be Giampaolo Bisanti, one of Italy’s major batons. On 9 and 11 December it will be the turn of the third title of Giuseppe Verdi’s popular trilogy for which Opera Lombardia had announced an international directing competition for under-35s. The winning director for La Traviata is Luca Baracchini, flanked by an equally young conductor, Enrico Lombardi. The Opera Season closes on 13 and 15 January with Napoli milionaria! by Nino Rota to a libretto by Eduardo De Filippo.
Music follows. Orchestras and soloists will alternate for the CLASSICAL CONCERT Season. The first is Alessandro Taverna, who will perform at the piano with music by Chopin, Liszt and Rachmaninov in a concert in collaboration with Arte & Musica sul Lario 2022 (25 October). On 23 November the Haydn Orchestra returns in A C minor Squared, on music by Mozart and Schubert, with conductor and solo pianist Florian Krumpöck.
From this season within CoMo – Como in the World, Teatro Sociale Como will host a concert each year by an internationally recognised artist from the Como area. Opening this review will be Davide Alogna and the Eos Quartet in Très Animé, accompanied on piano by Enrico Pace (17 January). In the next Season 2023-24, the guest artist will be Mattia Petrilli, a famous flutist from Como and today First Flute of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra.
On 9 March, Enrico Melozzi will also make a big comeback, this time as conductor of the Clandestine Nocturnal Orchestra, for a concert that will range from Verdi to Sollima, from Mozart to Melozzi himself, via Schubert and Nirvana. On 21 April, Anna Tifu’s piano will take centre stage with the Orchestra di Padova e del Veneto.
Two appointments in collaboration with the Como Conservatory will close, the opera La rondine (14 April) and the Conservatory Woodwind Orchestra (10 May).
There will be no lack of the CHAMBER MUSIC review, with numerous appointments in the Sala Bianca on Sunday mornings at 11 a.m.
Important names also for the DANCE Season. On 4 November, Aterballetto stages Don Juan, with choreography by Johan Inger, winner of the Danza&Danza ‘Best Production’ Award 2020.
On 22 November, the Compagnie Hervé Koubi brings to Como Boys don’t cry, a 2018 creation by Hervé Koubi, a French artist of Algerian origin who created his company in 2000 and achieved rapid international success. The show alternates moments of contemporary, hip-hop and spoken word, and tells what it means to choose to become a dancer when you are a boy, especially when you come from countries where gender difference still weighs heavily on individual destinies.
We repropose Parsons dance, on 2 December, already scheduled last Winter and unfortunately cancelled, as the company was forced, due to Covid, to postpone the European tour.
To end the year on tiptoes, on 31 December the Theatre will host the usual New Year’s Eve ballet, with the icon of 19th century classical ballets, Swan Lake, and the Russian Classical Ballet. After the performance, it will be possible to wait for Midnight in an exclusive location: a gala dinner accompanied by music will be set up on the stage of the theatre, to experience a star-studded evening.
The great PROSE resumes with double performances and four titles on the programme. Shakespeare‘s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ferzan Ozpetek‘s theatrical adaptation of his Mine vaganti, Euripides classic Supplici, and Massimo Popolizio in A View from the Bridge, a 1955 text by Arthur Miller.
Also highly anticipated is the lighter and funnier OPEN PROSE review, in collaboration with MyNina Spettacoli, featuring three big stars of the Itakian comedy scene: Andrea Pennacchi, Paolo Cevoli, and Teresa Mannino.
The theatrical part concludes with the PROSA OFF performances, which offer moments and insights into current issues in our society.
Some of the shows on the programme take up the theme of SUSTAINABILITY, in its various facets, both environmental and social, and talk about nature, technology, and the difficulties of living in this world today, which is still too uncaring of the environment and the needs of others.
The first call is for 2071 (30 October), an itinerant exhibition-show that proposes the theme of global warming to the public, thanks to storytelling and photography. The work intends to trace the history of global warming from its discovery to its scientific attestation, to highlight mitigation strategies and counteracting projects to be disseminated as a new paradigm of sustainable happiness.
Storm (15 December) is Emilio Calcagno’s first creation for the Ballet de l’Opéra Grand Avignon, which he now directs, and can be read as a metaphor for a ballet destabilised and shaken by a strong gust of wind, with a prospect for the future in the form of a supposed storm.
Sentieri Selvaggi’s concert (16 November) is dedicated to Naturism, a reminder of the need to return to a primitive, spontaneous, elementary type of life in contact with nature.
The Others. Investigation of the brand new monsters (19 January) deals instead with the current nastiness that roams social media, through these ‘new monsters’ called haters, the professional hating people. The topic is on technology again with Overload (30 March): amidst mass distractions and digital mutations, we move immersed in an environment augmented by media; overstimulated by information, we live in a state of constant alertness that the ancients only knew in battle.
The Land of Bloated Faces (19 April) is a bittersweet monologue about an avoidable environmental disaster. Bignami has taken inspiration by one of the most serious environmental accidents in Italian history, when on 10 July 1976 a dioxin cloud was released from a cosmetics factory in Seveso. The play chronicles an environmental disaster that could have been avoided if those who cared about people’s health had been listened to.
We conclude with a show dedicated to the great naturalist: Curiositas. Of the Life and Death of Pliny the Elder (3 May). Through a participatory and emotional storytelling, the play, produced by Teatro Sociale di Como in co-production with Atir, paints a passionate fresco on Pliny’s life, his frailties, his conflictual relationship with nature, but above all his innate curiositas, which led him everywhere to take off his sleep in order to continue studying and writing pages of rare beauty.
In addition to the classic genre subscriptions and the well-proved dynamic subscriptions, we have created different ‘formulas’ to make the theatre experience the theatre in a different way, especially for younger audiences.
For young spectators from 18 to 30 years old, we created the Under30 Subscription, selecting 6 shows of different genres – for only 60€ – each then linked to specially created evenings, such as games, aftershows, aperitifs, insights, etc.
For the UNDER40s we have the special Subscription 4x40Under40, a 4-evening review reserved for only 40 people up to 40 years of age! Like a small private club, four evenings to share starting with an aperitivo, then moving on to the show.
And then again the New Year’s Eve dinner after the ballet, guided tours with aperitifs, in-depth meetings, collaborations with local organizations and associations…
The Season of Teatro Sociale Como, promoted in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, the Region of Lombardy, the Municipality of Como, with the support of Società dei Palchettisti and Fondazione Cariplo, is all this and more.
Musicals, dance, concerts, meetings, family shows, a season that embraces all genres so as to delight all audiences.