How far can art be rewritten to follow political, ethical and moral demands of each age or to denounce current problems? The ater of Maggio Musicale in Florence decided last Sunday, more or less voluntarily, to experience it and premiered a Carmen by Bizet which is an unusual step beyond this reflection. The spectators found out how in last act of proposal of director of scene Leo Muscato protagonist snatches a pistol to Don Jose and descerraja him a shot. The result: The abuser dies and not his victim. The reason, explains atre's leaders, was to denounce violence against women, which leaves a corpse in Italy every three days and whose struggle lacks relevant speakers. But in a country where lyricism is religion, manipulating conclusion of a work by putting at risk its meaning has generated opposite effect.More information
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The survival of opera forced last century to propose all kinds of experiments on scenarios. Directors like Peter Sellars transported early 1980s classics to contemporary world — tipping point was his Don Giovanni injecting heroine on stage of Monadnock Music Festival in Manchester in 1980 — and, since n, Temptation to adapt classics has constituted mainstream of atrical modernity. Also this Carmen, set in a settlement of Romanian gypsies in periphery of a large Italian city and with a Don Jose turned into riot police. But that is not question that has cost muscato booing of a part of public, threats in social networks and even misunderstanding of great friends, as relates to this newspaper without even understanding controversy unleashed.
The critical voices with change of final of Carmen allude to general climate in which controversy takes place. A period where politically correct is mixed with achievements such as visualization and social denunciation of harassment of women in film industry, for example, but which runs risk of grossly making up hurtful, uncomfortable or violent aspects of Great works.
When art offends, guilt is not usually art. It is now resorted as a mockery to certain revisionism those 24 works of Shakespeare corrected by Thomas Bowdler in 1807 where, among or things, Ophelia did not commit suicide but accidentally died. Critics also illustrate phenomenon through petition with 8,700 signatures received by MET to remove dream of Teresa, painting of Balthus of a girl of about 13 years with leg raised on a chair letting glimpse his underwear. The New York museum did not swallow and Italian press was shocked yesterday that it had apparently consented to Florentine atre. What if we make a Moby dick where whale does not die and is only anestized, Repubblica was interrogated. In France, homeland of Bizet and Mérimée, change has also been criticized.
But defenders of Muscato, among m mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella — violinist, president of atre in question and great fan of opera, allege that it was a political-social provocation founded on obligations of art of Draw attention to contemporary issues. "I appreciate your choice because you did it with a precise objective: to reflect a serious and earnest issue in Italy such as violence against women. There has been a great deal of debate and criticism. But some of m I don't understand. It is not an ideological question about changing an opera or its meaning. The atre must be denounced, culture must be reinterpreted in present tense. And it is also worth to great culture of past. That doesn't mean changing past, I'm not a fool who thinks about rewriting art. The message of election of this stage director is social and cultural: to draw attention to a question as serious as femicides, "says Nardella to EL PAÍS.
Muscato, on phone, is shown despondent by controversy. "An exaggerated, gratuitous dust has been created," he says. The six functions — 1,600 locations per night — are exhausted and ater superintendent, from whom idea of changing end, wants to replenish it. But public derision, added to misfortune that pistol with which Carmen kills Don José failed miserably at premiere, has become unbearable. "The only reason I agree to bring a classic to stage is to provoke a debate and a motor of emotions. I wasn't looking for Epatar. I never talked about femicide, but I'm glad it looks like this, "he explains while rejecting politically correct label and turning argument around. "I am concerned that we no longer have cultural and intellectual freedom to let us be surprised. They can't send me to bonfire without seeing whole opera. " For now, whoever wants to do it will no longer find tickets.