A Modern Tragedy
Salvatore Sciarrino's 'Luci mie traditrici',
one of the most performed contemporary operas,
finally reaches a major Italian opera house,
by GIUSEPPE PENNISI
Since its debut at the 1998 Schwetzingen Festival in German translation and with a German title (Die tödische Blume, 'The Flower of Death'), Salvatore Sciarrino's Luci mie traditrici (see Chamber Opera, 22 October 2012 and Jaw-droppingly Compelling, 30 July 2013) has been seen and heard in Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, Poland, Spain, Russia, Great Britain, Argentina, Sweden, and South Korea as well as at the Salzburg festival. In Italy, it was presented in concert form in Turin for one evening, and fully-staged for only two evenings in the small city of Montepulciano. The Montepulciano performances formed the basis of a DVD.
Bologna's opera house (Teatro Comunale) has a special flair for contemporary operas: in its 'seasons', there are normally a couple of contemporary titles, of which one is often a new commission. Thus, Luci mie traditrici had a deluxe staging in co-production with Berlin's Staatsoper under den Linden, where the production will debut on 10 July 2016 and will become a repertory item (with a few stagings each 'season' for the next few years).
A few comments on the singing. It is mostly Sprechgesang with short ariosi and the counterpoint of off-stage madrigals. The singers are all German and excellent actors with a less-than-perfect Italian diction. I do not know, but it is possible that the Berlin performances will be in German.
The preview audience was young and enthusiastic.