"When will they realize that the theater is in my music?"
International Symposium on Gian Carlo Menotti, for the centennial of his birth
coordinated by Jacopo Pellegrini
Who, among the experts, can say that he has really listened to Gian Carlo Menotti′s music? Not just heard it , but listened to it; with ears open and the mind free from prejudice. And yet there were many opportunities in the fifties and sixties of the last century (the decades of the nonstop international diffusion), but even later, given that the extensive catalogue of our fresh Centennial had never ceased circulating with the most popular titles (The Telephone, The Medium, Amahl, The Consul, the Concerto for violin and orchestra), as well as with the other apparently less well-known, but not necessarily less beautiful, works.
Until a short time ago, the obstacles to the understanding arose, especially on the European side, due to the prevailing of certain ideological positions, by widespread anti-Americanism; but still today the predominant image is that of the skilled man of the theatre whose music is aimed at subsidiary functions, of the ´reporter´ who observes the social reality from below, «in clear and direct, not intellectualistic language» (Fedele d´Amico).
And if instead, as Menotti himself suggested (the title chosen for this conference is an excerpt from an interview with Alessandro Cannavò in1992), it was the music which directed and made sense of the dramatic action, if there was a strong hidden inclination for the symbol behind the true picture (in keeping with much of the twentieth century American theater of words, from O´Neill to Williams to Miller)?
For the first time scholars from various origins (European and American), educational backgrounds (historians of music, cinema and literature) and interests are gathered in the name of Menotti to investigate his artistic production, aesthetic design, cultural identity (Italian or American composer?), relationships (most often suffered) with the press, work as a director of plays and operas, his and others´. A symposium with no precedent (strongly desired by Giorgio Ferrara and achieved thanks to the help of Monini, historic sponsor of the Festival), for an artist shamefully neglected by research, lacking in an officially recognized scientific bibliography.
A wide-ranging reflection, without any previous hesitation or hostility, to investigate and, wherever possible, explore the ideal functional form and historical background of a production which stands out for its strong communicative, expressive and gestural powers.
WEDNESDAY 6 JULY
Jacopo Pellegrini, Introduction
Working with Menotti
Testimonies of artists who worked with Gian Carlo Menotti
Speakers Masolino d′Amico (Roma), Francesco Maria Colombo (Milano)
Composer of two worlds
Speakers Giovanni Carli Ballola (Roma), Giordano Montecchi (Parma), Giovanni Guanti (Roma)
The (un)fortunate criticism
Speaker Johannes Streicher (Bolzano)
Speakers Antonio Rostagno (Roma), Alberto Bosco (Torino)
THURSDAY 7 JULY
Music for media
Speakers Emilio Sala (Milano), Anselma Dell′Olio (New York-Roma)
Melo Freni, An hour with Gian Carlo Menotti. The life, the works (Rai Uno - Teche, 1981). Introduction by Author.
Voice and dramaturgy
Speakers Paolo Cattelan (Padova-Venezia), Virgilio Bernardoni (Bergamo), Guido Salvetti (Milano-Roma), with the participation of Stelia Doz, soprano
Speakers Albert Gier (Bamberga), Cesare Orselli (Firenze), Ivano Cavallini (Palermo), Francesco Cesari (Venezia), Luciano Alberti (Firenze)