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Subject: Re: Great Moments in Opera: Muti Protests Arts Budget Cuts During a “Nabucco” in Rome
From: Don <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Don <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 9 Jan 2017 19:22:09 -0700

text/plain (148 lines)

I would not say that this shows that Italy is still a great nation which it
definitely is not but does show that opera is a huge and powerful force.

On Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 3:35 PM, Alain Letort <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Dear Listers,
> The following video was made on Saturday 12 March 2011 at Rome’s Teatro
> dell’Opera,
> during a performance of “Nabucco” marking the sesquicentennial of Italy’s
> reunification.
> Watch beginning at 1:12:50 when, during the applause for the chorus’s
> rendition of “Va,
> pensiero,” an audience member shouts “Viva l’Italia!” and Maestro Muti
> turns to the
> audience and invites them to protest against the Berlusconi government and
> its ruthless
> cuts in the arts budget by joining the chorus in an encore.  And everybody
> stands up,
> leaflets are thrown from the upper tiers and tricolor flags are waved, and
> the entire
> audience sings the chorus . . . almost perfectly !!!  And the choristers
> are in tears at the
> end !  Only in Italy can such a scene take place !  It is moments like
> these that
> demonstrate, in spite of all its travails, that Italy is still a great
> nation !  Being a great
> nation isn’t just about possessing more nuclear weapons and tanks and
> bombers than
> anyone else, it’s also, it’s primarily about what a nation has done to
> enrich the world
> artistically and spiritually, and that Italy has done in buckets.
> Below is my personal transcript and translation of Maestro Muti’s
> remarks.  (I had to
> replay them at least two dozen times because sometimes some words were
> indistinct).
> 1:12:55
> Audience member :   Viva l’Italia !!!
> Riccardo Muti :   Sì, io sono d’accordo sul “Viva l’Italia!”  (Applause,
> “bis!”)
> Assolutamente . . .(Applause, “bis!”)
> Io no ho trent’anni (laughter), e quindi la mia vita l’ho fatta.  Ma sono
> molto — come
> italiano che gira in mondo — molto addolorato per quello che sta
> avvenendo.  Quindi, se
> io vi faccio alla vostra richiesta il bis del “Va, pensiero,” non lo
> faccio tanto, o solo, per
> ragioni patriottiche, ma in questa sera, mentre il coro cantava “O mia
> patria, sì bella e
> perduta” ho pensato che se noi uccidiamo la cultura su cui è fondata la
> storia dell’Italia,
> veramente sarà la nostra patria bella è perduta.
> (Sustained applause and cheers.)
> Intanto siccome stiamo in un clima molto italico e molto spesso Muti ha
> parlato ai stolti
> per tanti anni vorrei . . . facciamo un’eccezione, stiamo in casa nostra,
> no ?, nel teatro
> della capitale, siccome il coro l’ha cantato magnificamente e l’orchestra
> l’ha
> accompagnato benissimo, se volete unirvi anche voi, lo facciamo tutti
> insieme . . .
> (Applause)  A tempo, però !  (Laughter.)
> Riccardo Muti :   Yes, I agree with the “Viva l’Italia!”  (Applause,
> “bis!”)  Absolutely . . .
> (Applause, “bis!”)
> I’m not thirty any more (laughter), and therefore I’ve already made my
> life.  But I am
> very — as an Italian who travels all over the world — very grieved by what
> is going on..
> Therefore, if I’m acceding to your request to encore the “Va, pensiero,”
> I’m not doing it so
> much, or even solely, for patriotic reasons, but tonight, while the chorus
> was singing “O
> mia patria, sì bella e perduta,” I was thinking that if we murder the
> culture on which the
> history of Italy is based, then truly will our beautiful fatherland be
> lost.
> (Sustained applause and cheers.)
> However, since we are in a very italic [rather derisive word here] climate
> and Muti has
> had to speak with idiots [a reference to government ministers and top
> bureaucrats] for so
> many years, I would like . . . let’s make an exception, we are in our
> house, aren’t we ?,
> here in our capital’s theatre, and since the chorus has sung it so
> magnificently, and very
> well supported by the orchestra, if you too want to join in, let’s do it
> all together . . .
> (Applause)  But *in time* !  (Laughter.)
> The entire incident was written up (with pictures) in the Rome edition of
> Italy’s newspaper
> of record, the “Corriere della Sera,” on 14 March 2011.  See
> marzo_14/muti-nabucco-protesta-
> cultura-cappelli-190217635491.shtml .
> Cheers and all the best,
> Alain
> Alain Letort
> Washington, D.C.
> **********************************************
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