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NATURE | GREEN HOPE | EARTHQUAKE | RECONSTRUCTION
As the winners of the Macerata Opera 4.0 Open Call for productions, CASA * MARZIANO produces FOLK SONGS at the Macerata Opera Festival 2018. The concept of FOLK SONGS stems from the desire to stage Luciano Berio's Folk Songs, within the frame of The Folk Songs were written by Berio readjusting 11 folk songs of various origins and deal with the relationship that exist between Man and Nature, also making use of reflections on religion as a connection between man and nature, death, and love. This connection between man and nature is not always fluid and idyllic, but it can also be strong and rupture—as in the case of an earthquake—and these experiences are reflected in the history of the bodies and biographies of people, and of the communities themselves.
The themes address the festival’s organizing idea of ‘Green Hope’, and connect to spirit of self-organization of the communities that have suffered earthquakes in central Italy. It is green in potential, a space where everything is possible. Everything we hope exists in our imagination, but we must build it. Hence the desire to look at the theme of Reconstruction as a rebirth and collective re-launch. In this sense, FOLK SONGS wants to highlight the spirit of the people who choose to participate and to share a common commitment to the need to find a new beginning. In this process, folk and popular music plays a fundamental role in support, encouragement and inspiration.
We think of this creation as a musical installation literally under construction during the duration of the festival, and which also includes a participatory component of the public. In the 11-stage journey there will be some parts in which the public visitor will be involved, We will also work with natural sounds (e.g. sounds of birds, very present in Berio’s Folk Songs) and with the study of the seismographic recordings of local earthquakes, analyzing them as if they were musical and choreographic scores written by Nature that can be used in the musical composition in new ways. It will be a dynamic and sonorous landscape in which the public can observe, contemplate, and enjoy dance and music, but also get involved and participate. We will open up to the local community of Macerata as well with an Open Call and select a group of assistant set designers to help the installation of the FOLK SONGS installation, and a group of actors who will lead the audience along with the singers and dancers. We are also interested in collecting personal stories related to Earthquake experiences and using such stories as work materials. We want to create a community around the installation and within the Lauro Rossi Theater, where the roles of spectator and participant in creation can be superimposed.
The installation will remain open for the duration of the festival with three concerts on 25 July and 1 and 8 August. We will use the intervening time as an open workshop, with portions of the day open to public participation, and portions closed for development.. Every day the installation will evolve and the events that will happen inside it will change, selecting and accumulating the materials, and transforming itself.
What happens if an earthquake shakes a piece of music from the inside? An earthquake is able to move and remove existing structures, and at the same time bring together previously distant systems. What new possibilities and collaborations are created when this seismic shiver creeps into a score? Keeping in mind (and not diminishing) the destructive capacity of earthquakes, we understand that this seismic influence also has the ability to reform and increase the relationship between man and the Earth. Furthermore, the low-frequency signals of seismic sounds detected during an earthquake show that these intense vibrations are also important for understanding the deep materiality of planet Earth. Therefore the earthquake is for us an experimental method through which we try to remove and redirect compositional and performative elements to learn, understand in detail and unveil the relationships between these elements to the public.
FOLK SONGS dramaturgy is participatory and experiential. The spectators are invited to take part in a path comprised of stages within the spaces of the theater. The route will last about an hour. The theme of greenness is here declined in eleven fundamental principles: Listening, Chasm, Common Commitment, Lamentation, Prayer, Silence, Imagination, Color, Tremor, Rhythm, and Sowing. Each principle is the source of inspiration for a route station, and is linked to the contents of one of the eleven Folk Songs written by Berio. The soloists, the dance corps and the musicians are the protagonists and custodians of this path. Besides performing the musical pieces, they take care of the experience and the relationships with the public. The journey begins with an introduction "in character" by a member of the cast, explaining how the show will take place and giving clear indications regarding movement and interactions within the space. At each stage the audience will encounter music, sound, and movement in different ways and will be involved in participatory actions. Some of these participatory actions will be active and the public will be asked to contribute to the staging of the show: moving objects, writing, redefining the space of the action, and getting involved. Other actions are instead linked to listening -- to the observation of the scene and to contemplation, and therefore aimed at stimulating the auditory, visual and sensorial perceptions of the visitors. This gentle rhythm between making and giving presence, acting and feeling, moving and gathering is the central core of the role of the spectator, and is a metaphor for one's own actions in the world and in the community.
FOLK SONGS scenography is a fundamental part of the journey in eleven stages and redefines the spaces of the Teatro Lauro Rossi in Macerata in an innovative way. Each station is designed to stimulate public participation, allowing actions, movements and seats of various kinds. The stations are also created in relation to the architecture of the theater, and modify its visual perception offering unusual perspectives for the public. The materials used are natural materials such as wood, metal, glass and recycled products. In addition to the visitors' musical experience that will take place at different points, the public will be allowed to access theater places usually dedicated solely to artists, such as the stage, the orchestra pit and the dressing rooms. The path will thus also be an unconventional exploration of a space -- the theater -- which contains set behavioral codes and precise habits. The mobility of the scenic elements allows us, on the one hand, to experiment and improve the installation format on a daily basis, and on the other to construct a final result that is still different from that of the installation route. The desire to maintain a mobile structure of the various scenographic elements allows us to conceive, create and realize FOLK SONGS as a show of contemporary musical theater conceived for the spaces of the Teatro Lauro Rossi of Macerata, as well as the intention to present the production in different places or cities.
Matteo Marziano Graziano was born in Turin in 1984, he trained at the Paolo Grassi School of Dramatic Art in Milan and at the same time he graduated in Literature at the University of Turin. An eclectic director and choreographer and dedicated to performing arts on several fronts, he began working in the opera world in Amsterdam as a choreography assistant for Stefan Herheim at the Dutch National Opera. He continues his career collaborating with acclaimed directors such as Guy Joosten, Lucinda Childs, Nicola Berloffa and alongside conductors such as Mariss Jansons, Antonino Fogliani and Gianluigi Gelmetti. He collaborates with Jacopo Brusa in the Guillaume Tell at the Rossini in Wildbad Festival, where he works as a director and choreographer. Matteo Marziano Graziano has created scenes and choreography for soloists of international level and groups of up to 70 people. Matteo's surface area ranges from 1 to 1200 square meters and his performances lasted from a few minutes to a maximum of 10 nonstop days, offered to the public only once or up to 53 performances. He received commissions from renowned institutions such as the Ballet of the Theater of Turin, the Schaubühne of Berlin, and the Italian Cultural Institute of Jakarta in Indonesia. He has lectured at the University of Turin and La Sapienza University of Rome, which has also published his essay. He is a member of the executive board of COORPI, formerly Coordinating Dance Piedmont, and has a master degree in choreography summa cum laude obtained at the Interfaculty of Dance in Berlin. His artistic work has been supported among others by the MiBACT - Ministry of Architectural, Cultural and Tourism Heritage.
Silvia Aurea De Stefano was born in Nola in the province of Naples in 1984. She studied singing at the Domenico Cimarosa Conservatory of Avellino with the teachers Carlo Desideri and Enrico Turco and at the Musik-Akademie of Basel (Master of Arts musikalischer Performance Klassik) with the master Marcel Boone. She specialized in lectures and master classes with prominent personalities such as Cecilia Bartoli, Raul Gimenez, Jennifer Larmoore, Bruno De Simone, Alessandra Rossi, Vassellina Kasarova, Anna Sophie Von Otter, Sir Thomas Allen, Margret Honig, Mya Besselynk, Kurt Wiedmar, Yvonne Naef, Pietro Rizzo, Graham Johnson, Marilena Laurenza, Massimo Borghese (Foniatra). She currently studies with Soprano Susanna Branchini. She is a guest at the Rossini Festival in Bad Wildbad where she sang Maddalena / Viaggio a Reims under the direction of Maestro Antonino Fogliani and Zulma / L'Italiana in Algeri under the direction of Maestro José Miguel Sierra. was a member of the Flanders Opera Studio in Gent 2011 (the current International Opera Academy). From 2013 to 2016 she was part of the Hamburger Kammeroper stable company in Hamburg where she sang roles such as Isabella in "L'Italiana in Algeri", Cleopatra in "Giulio Cesare" by G.F. Händel, Cherubino in "Le nozze di Figaro" and Dorabella in "Così fan tutte". In 2016 she won the Kammeroper Rheinsberg competition with the innovative "Mozart in 90 minutes" project. In 2015 she became part of the Opera Directing Class of the director and actress Eleonora Paterniti and of the set designers Pasquale Grossi and Tommaso Lagattola. After the first assistants for Jochen Schoenleber and Nikolas Buechel made his debut in 2017 with the direction of Don Giovanni by Mozart for the Landesmuseum in Bonn.
Jacopo Brusa was born in Pavia in 1985. He studied in Pavia and then at the G. Verdi in Milan where, in 2005, he graduated in organ and organ composition under the guidance of Ivana Valotti, then perfected with Marcello Girotto at the Conservatorio G. Tartini of Trieste. In recent years he has deepened the study of the organ and the harpsichord attending advanced courses taught by Edoardo Bellotti, Christoph Bossert, Hans Davidsson, William Porter, Michael Radulescu and Pieter van Dijk. In the meantime he began studying conducting, taking part in the Wiener Musikseminar in Vienna, at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena under the guidance of Gianluigi Gelmetti, at the Summer Program of Bard College (USA) and at the Bottega Peter Maag with Donato Renzetti; has achieved or the diploma at the Conservatorio G. Tartini of Trieste with Antonino Fogliani. He was director of the TOCH vocal ensemble in Amsterdam and the choir City of Milan, with whom he made his debut in 2008 conducting the Requiem di Fauré and the Gloria di Vivaldi, and co-founder of the 'San Giusto' Youth Orchestra of Trieste, with which performs a wide concert activity, both in chamber and symphonic training. As conductor, he collaborated with the Teatro Lirico G. Verdi of Trieste. Among the recent and future commitments, the presence in the symphonic season of the Municipal Theater of Piacenza, La Cenerentola for the Piccolo Festival FVG and The Happy Deception for the Teatro Fraschini stand out. Finally he collaborates as assistant and musical director of stage at various Italian and foreign theaters and opera houses (Piacenza, OperaLombardia, Ravenna, Ferrara, Modena, Reggio Emilia, Messina, Bad Wildbad Opera Festival).
The set designer Anne Storandt (1986) counts among her collaborations the one with Robert Wilson & Herbert Grönemeyer at the Berliner Ensemble (Faust I / II, 2015), and with the Novoflot group of contemporary musical theater at the Volksbühne in Berlin. For the feature film AVA (2017), she received two nominations: as Best Set Design at the Internationale Hofer Filmtage and Best Look at the Filmfestival in Cologne. She studied architecture with Prof. Inken Baller at the Technischen Universität Cottbus and subsequently worked as an architect and set designer in numerous productions. Between 2015 and 2017 she was hired as a set designer at the Berliner Ensemble, where she worked not only with Robert Wilson but also with Karl-Ernst Herrmann, Manfred Karge and Maria Elena Amos. Since 2016 she has taken part in the productions of the Novoflot contemporary music theater collective, also at Radialsystem V, Uferstudios, and Theater Basel. With the London collective The Shells, she has designed and implemented architecture for a participatory performance of several days, with premières at the Greenhouse in Berlin. He has also worked on numerous short films and feature films, with directors such as Süheyla Schwenk, Zora Rux and Sabine Nawrath.
Samuel Hertz (1987) is a composer, sound artist, researcher, and curator. He lives in Berlin and works internationally. The focus of his research is at the intersections of psycho-acoustics and extended listening practices. He graduated in composition at Mills College, studying composition with Pauline Oliveros, Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins, and production/performance with Morton Subotnick. His works have been recently performed in France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, UK and also at the Center for New Music, BAM / PFA, Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, and Harvestworks (USA). As the winner of the 2017 DARE Prize for Radical Interdisciplinarity (University of Leeds / Opera North: Leeds, UK) he conducts a research project on geophysical and atmospheric sounds and infrasound. Samuel collaborates with several American and European dance companies and choreographers, creating immersive sound design, installations, live performances and at festivals such as ImPulsTanz (Vienna), ICI / CCN (Montpellier), DOCK11 (Berlin), and UltimaVez Studios (Brussels). His research is published in association with Studio Tomas Saraceno and the Royal College of Art / Imperial College (London) and has lectures on environmental sound at the American Association of Geographers, Lancaster University, University of Leeds, Beloit College, Liverpool John Moores University, and Ohio University. He is a continual artist and researcher in cooperation with Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s Anthropocene Campus activities (2016 - present). Recent events include the performance / installation at the National Science + Media Museum (Bradford, UK), artist-in-residence at The Tetley (Leeds, UK), and a residency at the Visby International Center for Composers.