From the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
by and with Simone Cristicchi with the participation of 22 members of the OIDA Orchestra of Arezzo music by Valter Sivilotti, Simone Cristicchi songs by Simone Cristicchi directed by Simone Cristicchi
In every person, there is a nostalgia for the infinite, a sense of separation, a desire for completeness that drives them to seek a meaning for their own existence. The task of the human being is to give birth to themselves, looking inside Hell - which is very often built by them- glimpses of Paradise: in the light breath of poetry, in the magnificence of art, in the discoveries of science, in the very wise book of Nature. Starting from Dante's canticle, Simone Cristicchi writes and interprets "Paradiso", a theatrical work for voice and symphony orchestra, the story of an inner journey from darkness to light, through the powerful voices of the mystics of all times, whose teachings, like a river underground through the centuries to reach us with the relevance of their message. The tension towards Paradise is a metaphor for human evolution, a vital impulse towards higher peaks, that are often inaccessible: elevation and evolution. Dante's journey from Hell to Paradise is an initiatory journey, where poetry becomes an instrument of transformation from matter to pure spirit, and the encounter with the image of God is the revelation of a universal message, which crosses time and wins.
The idea of creating the show that will represent the most important moment of the 75th edition of the THEATER FESTIVAL of San Miniato, was formed in 2019 with the intention of proposing a far-reaching staging, in the wake of the Divine Comedy and in the year of Dante celebrations.
The focus on the Canticle of Heaven is the result of a careful analysis of the contents that supported the convinced creation of an original work with the aim of offering new food for thought on spiritual themes that transcend from purely individual events into the collective, concerning all of humanity.
The poet who sang the despair, anguish, guilt and atonement, who entered the bowels of the earth and labored on the hard ascent of Purgatory, is now ready for the final rush towards God. His God however, is an achievement. He finds himself following a long and demanding research, in which reason plays a fundamental role. It is this which, in a continuous confrontation with instinct, proposes to reconstruct an order suited to mankind: the irrational forces taking place and heading towards an end that exalts them.
It's not a question of repressing earthly needs but of realizing them in a higher perspective. Reason made Dante feel firsthand how misguided instinct is destructive. It made him understand the need for atonement and for a definitive awareness. This wonderful metaphor of existence assumes an even more important meaning in such a particular and difficult moment in the history of humanity.
Therefore, art can always offer new elements for reflection and tools to investigate the most remote areas of our consciences.
The Opera, as well as all those collateral initiatives that will be proposed, will therefore try to give new answers to ever-recurring and current questions. It will do so by combining two complementary and popular forms of art: theater and music.