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For King, Country and Sex

Marco Tutino's 'Senso',
experienced by GIUSEPPE PENNISI


Is there an Italian 'new opera' genre similar to the American 'new opera' I discussed here a couple of weeks ago commenting on the European première of William Bolcom's A View from the Bridge? It is quite a pertinent question, because Italy was the cradle of opera as well as one of the few countries where opera was a fully commercial venture (in Venice in the sixteenth century and all over the country from about the 1820s until around the 1910s). Now, the thirteen major Italian opera houses and some thirty minor 'traditional' opera theatres are heavily supported by central and local government. Due the financial stringency, government funds for opera are drastically decreasing, so opera workers are protesting with serious industrial action. More worrisome than these protests is the decrease in audience; with a few exceptions (Milan's La Scala, Palermo's Teatro Massimo, Parma's Teatro Regio), in many theatres the paying audience is dwindling year after year and there are rows of unfilled seats any time some program departure is made from the standard repertory...

Copyright © 5 February 2011 Giuseppe Pennisi,
Rome, Italy



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