Posts Tagged ‘Sonia Arienta’

Limenmusic’s columns go on holiday…

Limenmusic’s columns: “Intersections”, by Alfonso Alberti, and “Collateral effects”, by Sonia Arienta, go on holiday until September 1st

Do you want to read all the articles?

INTERSECTIONS
english version
italian version

COLLATERAL EFFECTS
english version
italian version

See you in September with new interesting articles!!!!

Do you want to collaborate with Limenmusic, writing a new column??
Write your proposal at info@limenmusic.com

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Absence, by Sonia Arienta

In a time where are well appreciated, experimented contaminations and interweavings among different languages, genres, styles, between “high” and “low”, among, visual arts, sounds, words, operatic theatre can be judged a precursory and innovative cultural product. It is a genre based on the coexistence and the interrelation among the arts and the dissimilar competencies. Therefore, why is it too much often considered a remote and old-fashioned genre in the common perception? What does make it so and why? Nearby what kind of audience, and with what kind of judgement? Certainly, cooperate to create such a perception the absence or the superficial/careless space reserved towards opera theatre in the italian media. Not only television, addressed to a very heterogeneous audience, but the most important newspapers too, read by a more select public…
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Italian Version

Collateral effects goes on holiday….see you on September 8th!!!

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Inheritance, by Sonia Arienta

Knowledge and aware utilisation of an opera by the most high number of spectators must be considered a very important goal in cultural politic organisation of a State, like Italy, exactly because this musical genre had a primary role in the building of national identity. Above all, before the same construction of italian state.
As of right, the interest towards operatic theatre should take part in the main cares of ministers of our Republic, at least as all the other most important productive resources of the Country and generally of “made in Italy”. As well as miles of painted canvas, thousands square metres of frescos and painting on wood; many tons of big and little ancient roman stones, etruscan potsherds, Renaissance art style bricks, baroque cornices, books published in the sixteenth century, incunabula and illuminated codexes buried in ours country cellars. Or avalanched in opencast archaeological excavations…
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A new book for Sonia Arienta

Sonia Arienta, editor of Collateral effects‘ column, recently edited a book for LIM (Libreria Musicale Italiana), whose title is “OPERA. Paesaggi visivi, sonori, abitati nel melodramma italiano dell’Ottocento”.

“Un libro utile, stimolante, nuovo, di lettura coinvolgente.Perché ripercorre l´opera italiana dell´Ottocento attraverso i suoi libretti. Anzi, attraverso, come si legge nel titolo, i paesaggi sonori, visivi, abitati, che in essi stanno, ambientano l´azione. La musica, ovviamente, c´è, ma come punto di riferimento. Il primo piano è dei luoghi, degli spazi, degli ambienti privati e pubblici, come importante trama dei testi, dunque della drammaturgia, su cui la stessa musica si misura…”

After degree in Italian Litterature, (spec. Musicology, with Prof Francesco Degrada) at Università degli Studi in Milan and a degree in Fine Art at Accademia di Brera (Set Design), and after an apprenticeship period in numerous important lyrical theatres (La Scala, Covent Garden, Rossini Opera Festival, Arena di Verona, Piccolo Teatro di Milano, etc), as assistant of prestigious directors (Hugo de Ana, Pier’Alli, Pierluigi Pizzi), Sonia Arienta begins her career as director (Teatro Donizetti, Bergamo, Teatro Regio di Torino, As.Li.Co, Fondazione Arena di Verona, teatro Campoamor, Oviedo, Teatro Verdi, Milano), playwriter and essaysts.
As essayst publishes with ed. Ricordi-LIM Don Giovanni, Le manipolazioni di un testo nell’Europa della Restaurazione (2005).
She writes also for theatre booklet (Teatro Regio of Turin, Donizetti of Bergamo, Carlo Felice of Genoa).
She makes her debut as playwriter in 2004 at Genoa Teatro Stabile, with “Strade/Corridoi”. In 2005 she is finalist at prestigoius award “Premio Riccione per il Teatro” with “Pareti Domestiche”.

For more information, about the book and the purchase, please, click here.

For the cover of the book, please, click here.

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Means of defence and traumas II, by Sonia Arienta

Did you ever think that when we refer to operatic theatre in Italy our mind immediately runs straight on to two types of approach? The melomaniac one and the “indifferent” one. The last includes he who feels oneself ignorant, inadequate in this field thanks to one’s own choice or to an imposition due to a cultural lack produced by a deficit in national cultural politics. Behind the indifference of such a potential audience it’s often easy to find an awe towards the score pages. Towards all that belongs to the misterious world made of staves and notes. Full score too often is felt as a cage where the spectator fears of to be caught in, just in reason of the incapability of reading it, victim of the musical illiteracy imposed and decreeted from above. Towards operatic music it has been open a campaign of methodical displacement and disinformation…
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Means of defence and traumas I

It would be suitable to ask oneself what kind of perception towards operatic theatre has he who doesn’t know it and feels it alien and strange, or decidly boring or unnecessary. Unprofitable like every product extimeed inable of moving a large fluxus of money. Useless like one of these “good things of bad taste” inherited from a great-hunt, which its possession it would be better to made without. Or, strange and impenetrable as the hieroglyphics of an ancient Egyptian obelisk. A product remote in the time, particularly used by a limitate number of monomaniac iniziates, devoted to cultural archaeology and palaeontology and observed in the best of the chances with a benevolent smile of pity. In force of this fact they are judged carriers of a rare desease, not infectious, but obstinated in cultivating old and eccentric practices.
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Anaesthesia II, by Sonia Arienta

The top of spectacularity in Aida and Don Carlos is set in two places: respectively in the Tebe’s entrance (Finale II), in the Valladolid’s big square (Finale III). Both of them coincide with the middle of the opera dramatic-musical sequence, and both are public open places, crowded with presences. Whether the “triumph” scene, or the “Autodafé” one constitute an impressive, theatrical epiphany of the power, fit to describe the apparatus and the machines used by the last one, in order to express its arrogance. Musical horror vacui of these pages, graphically supported by the density of notes, staves for voices and instruments in the full score and the display of magnificence express with theatrical tools a critic towards the power. They are so different from the complacency for redudancy, from a wanton show of sounds. They rather stress autocelebration of power and its rhetoric which Verdi criticizes and points out it, thanks to awareness with he utilizes grand-opéra’s patterns.
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Anaesthesia, by Sonia Arienta

In an ill cultural system, audience anaesthesia becomes the unconscious or conscious “mission” towards embarrassing operas or even towards a genre (melodrama in this example). They are both “guilty”, infact, for encouraging questions and stimulating thoughts. In such a situation we can recognise, then, some choices involving set design and direction. So, this kinds of stage productions tame awkward contents with an involutional way, where also the space appears poor in value and meaning. Such a “destiny” we can especially see in work like La Traviata, often characterised by a glittered and silky packaging, or Aida, afflicted by stage productions obeying to an exoticism made of peacock’s feathers and Egyptology of papier-mâché. So, for instance, in the first example, we can see a generous number of stage productions where the two feasts in Violetta’s home and in Flora’s palace are used as a cue for a pleasant, high society sets, fit to nurse acritical and passive spectators…
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Linus blanket, by Sonia Arienta

From a visual point of view, set design is the most important attraction for the average audience in a stage production. So, we can see different manners of misappropriation towards “embarrassing” operas and genre (melodrama), when cultural politics point to anaesthetize them.

Reassuring” stage productions which “protect” especially the italian Nineteenth century masterpieces from modernity contamination apparently repeat the primary functions of a wrapping (the protective one precisely). As a matter of fact, they alter the message reception. They embalm the former artistic productions in a case, where even the most destabilising specimen preserves the danger of a tropical arachnid slept behind a terrarium glass. To make Opera a museum piece of, or to banalize it with apparently “modern” stage production, it moves away audience, especially joung people, already penalised by educational programming that cuts away a musical teaching…
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Stage productions and packaging, by Sonia Arienta

Nothing is casual in the world of commercial products, every process has specific rules imposing precise plannings and organization in merchandising. It is essential that goods, in addition to protection assured by wrapping, must be presented in the best possible shape, in order to manage trade challenges and to attract the attention of a prospective buyer. So packaging becomes a medium fit for sales (and profits) increasing, winning competitors, tempting customers driving them to purchase, regardless of theirs real needs.

Actually, in operatic theatre, we can remark manipulations and acts of latent censure achieved by choices concerning the performance “packaging” (direction, set and costume designing), necessary to tame operas with “embarassing” content. This happens in different manners…

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