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'The Letters' A Film & Concert
Sun, January 31, 2021 2:00 PM, EST
"Ah these artists are a race of curious beasts! Once they have a reputation they are afraid of themselves and become scholastic.. but in regards to musicians, I would certainly say they are even crazier than the rest! They are like blind people who play with sticks.. when things happen, they simply happen, and they don't know what they want or where they are going...
No—I only want one creator, and am satisfied for the source of which to be simply and exactly what is written; the bad thing is that musicians never perform what you have written... I often read in newspapers about effects not imagined by the author; but, for my part, have never heard them."
—extract from the letters of Giuseppe Verdi
This film & concert (directed by Domenico Ciavarella) is an homage to the great theatrical director and theorist Anatoly Vasiliev.
Featuring the personal letters of composers Rossini, Verdi and Puccini, it depicts the conceptual dialogue between the composer and his muse, and the singing that inspires him. On the other hand it is also an exploration of the lives of the composers themselves, as their diaries express the search for their own artistic selves throughout the different phases of their lives, and the creative spaces they inhabit.
The performance will feature pianist maestro Sergio La Stella, who in collaboration with soprano Natalia Pavlova will perform arias from different operas by the aforementioned composers.
Accompanied by the performances will be reenactments of the composers reading their letters, portrayed by renowned actors Bradford West (Puccini), Tim Kachurov (Verdi) and Arthur Kantemirov (Rossini), emphasizing the so-called intertwining between life and art, chaos and creativity, without which life is not possible, and is itself sometimes stronger because of.
"Here are my ideas on the current state of music.../Many of our non Italian born singers, who pleasure the capitals of Europe, renounced the purity of musical taste..."
G. ROSSINI Rosina's aria "Una voce poco fa" from "Il barbiere di Siviglia"
Verdi's letter :
"My lovely nut! Let me say this word without being offensive, because you already are so
little!!! Ah, ah, ah!..."
G. VERDI Leonora's aria "D'amor sull'ali rose" from "Il Trovatore" with the letter of Verdi in pause before "Misere" :
"We were born to suffer..."
F. CHOPIN Valse op. 69 n. 1
Puccini's letter :"I'm here alone and sad! If you only knew my sufferings!..."
G. VERDI "Desdemona's prayer" from "Otello"
Puccini's letter :
"Carve into your head in adamantine letters: Opera must make people weep, feel horrified, die through singing..."
G. PUCCINI Magda's aria from "La Rondine" with Puccini's letter :"Mine are reasons of a practical and theatrical nature..."
Puccini's letter :
"I do not receive your letters daily and that is bad. You abandon me in this world?..."
G. VERDI Violetta's aria with letter from "La Traviata"
Verdi's letter :"Ah these artists are a race of curious beasts!.."
Translation of the Arias
Rossini "Una voce poco fa" from Barbiere di Siviglia
A voice a while back
echoes here in my heart;
already my heart has been pierced
and Lindoro inflicted the wound.
Yes, Lindoro shall be mine;
I swear it, I will win.
My guardian will refuse me;
I shall sharpen all my wits.
In the end he will be calmed
and I shall rest content...
Yes, Lindoro shall be mine;
I swear it, I will win.
Yes, Lindoro shall be mine;
I swear it, yes.
I am docile, I'm respectful,
I'm obedient, gentle, loving;
I let myself be ruled, I let myself be ruled,
I let myself be guided, I let myself be guided.
but if they touch me
on my weak spot,
I'll be a viper
and a hundred tricks
I'll play before I yield.
Verdi "Il trovatore" aria of Leonora
Go… leave me,
and don’t fear for me.
I can save him, perhaps.
Fear for me? … Sure
and ready is my protection.
(She looks at a ring on her right hand.)
Shrouded in this dark night,
I’m near you, and you don’t know it!
Moaning wind, you who blow here,
ah, mercifully take my sighs to him.
On the rosy wings of love
go, oh mournful sigh;
comfort the flagging spirits
of the wretched prisoner.
Like a breath of hope
flutter in that room;
waken in him the memories,
the dreams, the dreams of love.
But, pray, don’t imprudently tell him
the pangs, the pangs that rack my heart!
Pausa (Verdi 's letter)
Miserere of an alma already close
At the departure that has no return!
Miserere of her, divine goodness,
Prey is not of the infernal stay!
That sound, those solemn, fatal, precepts
Empiron this air of gloomy terror! ...
The ambassador, who invites me all, contends
To the lip the breath, the heartbeats to the heart
You will see that never
there was on earth a love stronger than mine.
it won over destiny in bitter confrontation,
it will win even over death.
So it will, either I shall pay with my life
to save yours,
or eternally united
I shall go to the grave with you.
Verdi. Desdemona's the Prayer from "Otello"
Desdemona :(kneeling at the prie-dieu) Hail Mary, full of grace, blessed amongst wives and maids art thou, and blessed is the fruit, o blessed one, of thy maternal womb, Jesu.Pray for those who kneeling adore thee, pray for the sinner, for the innocent and for the weak oppressed; and to the powerful man, who also grieves, thy sweet compassion show.Pray for him who bows beneath injustice and ‘neath the blows of cruel destiny ;for us, pray thou for us, pray for us always, and at the hour of our death pray for us, pray for us, pray! (She remains kneeling and, with her head bowed on theprie-dieu, repeats the prayer silently, so that only thefirst words and the last are audible. )Hail Mary ...... and at the hour of our death.Hail! Amen! (She rises from her knees and goes to bed.)
Puccini, Magda's aria from la "Rondine"
Who could say
About Doretta's dream;
Its mystery, how did it ever,
How did it ever end?
Ooh-wee! One day, a student
Kissed her on the mouth,
And that kiss was
It was sheer passion!
The subtle caress
Of such an ardent kiss,
Who could ever describe it?
Ah! My dream!
Ah! My life!
Who cares about wealth
If in the end flourishes
Oh golden dream,
to be able to love like that!
Verdi - Violetta aria with letter from "La Traviata"
(Takes a letter from her bosom)
"You have kept your promise... the duel
took place! The baron was wounded,
but he is improving. Alfredo
is on foreign soil. Of your sacrifice
I myself have revealed it to him;
He is returning to request your pardon;
I will also come. Take care of yourself... you deserve
a better furure.
It is (too) late!
I wait, wait but they do not ever come to me! . . .
(she looks at herself in the mirror)
Oh, how I've changed!
But the doctor encourages me to hope as well!
Ah, with this disease, all hope is dead.
Farewell, happy dreams of the past,
The roses in my cheeks are already pallescent;1
I'm also missing Alfredo's love
Comfort, support for my tired soul
Oh, smile at the desire of the forsaken woman;
To her, oh, grant forgiveness; welcome her, O God,
Now it is all over
INFORMATION ABOUT ARTISTS:
Moscow and Rome-based soprano Natalia Pavlova (who is a descendant of Russian national poet Alexander Pushkin) has graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, Moscow Chaikovsky State Conservatory, Auditorium Parco della Musica (Rome), and many others throughout the world.
Active in performing music from antiquity to today, she was a soloist for 6 years in the Moscow theater School of Dramatic Art, directed by Anatoly Vasiliev. Natalia has sung world premiere performances and recordings of works by composers Giovanni Sollima, Venus Rey and Iraida Yusupova, composed specially for her voice, as well as pieces by Vladimir Martynov. She serves on Artistic Council of The First Cultural International Festival, Russian-Rome, Palazzo Poli in Rome, and was recently awarded the Silver Lion at the Narnia International Festival, as well as the International "Clean Sound" Award.She has recorded 3 CD with contemporary music in Da Vinci Classics (Japone) and in Art Classic (Moscow).
SERGIO LA STELLA is a famous Italian pianist, composer, and conductor, now based in Teatro dell'opera di Roma. He was a student of L. Bernstein and G. Rozdentvensky. Find more information see his page on Wikipedia.
ARTHUR KANTEMIROV is a Toronto based clown/performer with over 20 years experience. Arthur has been part of the Boo ff Show theater which performed in Vancouver during the Olympics, Cirque Niagara's show Avaia and many other events in Canada and around the world. Arthur also performs his own kids show called "Amazing Arthur", which went online since last year and helps run their Toronto based circus school "Wonderful World of Circus".
TIM KACHUROV – Actor, Director & Drama Coach, Tim graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (R.A.D.A) in London, England and the Academy of Theatre Arts in Toronto. Tim’s acting career includes many live performances with such Theatre companies as the International Drama Ensemble, Canadian Stage, Lovers and Madmen and Horizontal 8. Tim notable performances include Voltemand in Hamlet at the Canadian Stage directed by Ned Vukovic from the Royal Shakespeare Company and Cicero in Julius Caesar at the Ford Centre for the Performing Arts. Tim has performed in the Booff Clown Show since 2007. Tim is currently the Artistic Director of the Toronto Theatre Academy, which he founded in 1990, where he trains and coaches students in the Art of Drama. He also directs TTA’s annual theatre productions, the last of which was The Exception and the Rule by Bertolt Brecht in May 2008. Tim is a Chairman of the Board of Solar Stage Children’s Theatre and an active member of the Bishop White Committee at the Royal Ontario Museum where he gives International Public lectures and writes articles on Japanese Art. Tim is honoured to play side by side with such renowned artist as Nikolai Terentiev in the Booff Clown Show
BRADFORD WEST is a New York based actor, musician and filmmaker who is a principal performer in the global hit Slava's Snowshow.