The Histoire du soldat by Igor Stravinsky inaugurates the new stage of the Malibran Theatre.
With the participation of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, on the occasion of Peggy Guggenheim’s birthday
It is with a new staging of Igor Stravinsky’s Histoire du soldat that the new stage of the Teatro Malibran opens: a completely renovated and much more technological stage, created by Fenice thanks to the technical partnership of Fest. To ‘test’ the new stage machine, on the two evenings of Wednesday 26 and Saturday 29 August 2020 at 19. 00, will be Stravinsky’s famous operetta, The Story of a Soldier, inspired by the myth of Faust: a “story to read, act and dance in two parts” for narrator and small orchestra on a libretto by Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz, which will be staged in a theatrical adaptation in Italian entrusted to actor and director Francesco Bortolozzo and dancer and choreographer Emanuela Bonora, with costumes by Marta Del Fabbro and lights by Fabio Barettin. Alessandro Cappelletto will be responsible for the musical part, who will lead the instrumentalists of the Orchestra del Teatro La Fenice.
The premiere of the Histoire du soldat will take place on the exact day of the birthday of Peggy Guggenheim, who was a friend of Stravinsky and his wife Vera. There are several historical testimonies that link the American patron to the couple. In September 1951 the Guggenheim was invited by them to the Phoenix Theatre on the occasion of the world premiere of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress (La carriera di un libertino), while in September 1957 the Russian composer was a guest of the collector at Palazzo Venier dei Leoni. This presence is evidenced by the signature, accompanied by a musical joke, left by Stravinsky on the guest book in which Peggy kept signatures and dedications of the many famous people who came to visit her. It is also famous the shot of Man Ray of 1924 that portrays a very young Peggy Guggenheim with a dress by Paul Poiret, accompanied by a golden turban that Peggy had designed by Vera Sudeikin, then engaged to the composer.
L’Histoir du soldat is a plot of ballets and chamber music that tells a story freely inspired by the myth of Faust: it tells the story of a soldier who gives his violin to the devil in exchange for a book that contains the answers to any question. The opera was born in wartime, in the last months of the First World War, and made its debut at the Malibran Municipal Theatre of Lausanne on September 28, 1918. Based on a libretto in French by Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz, a poet exiled to Switzerland as well as the composer himself, Histoire was Stravinsky’s answer to the need to constitute a poor and itinerant theater, capable of purifying tradition while leaving its essential characteristics intact. With sobriety of means, and recovering the basic structures of the théatre ambulant, Stravinsky tells through music and dance a simple story that refers to a very powerful literary myth, an ancestral legend atavistically linked to the history of the West.
It is a work often defined as ‘eccentric’, ‘experimental’: the style of his music is distinguished by the combination of heterogeneous elements and polyrhythms; North American ragtime, Viennese waltzes and Argentine tango, Gregorian motifs and excerpts of songs are juxtaposed in a sound plot where the only recurring motif is that of the marked Russian intonation representing the soldier, the protagonist around whom the whole work revolves.
Tickets for the show at Teatro Malibran (from € 15.00 to € 40.00) can be purchased at the Vela Venezia Unica sales points of Teatro La Fenice, Piazzale Roma, Tronchetto, Ferrovia, Piazza San Marco, Rialto line 2, Accademia, Mestre, by telephone (+39 041 2722699) and online at www.teatrolafenice.it.
The public is invited to check the details of the timetable and dedicated access on the ticket purchased.