Opera di Roma General Manager Francesco Ernani has just published an article in the Rome newspaper "Repubblica" with a very interesting analysis on the state of financial (and political) crisis of classical music in Italy -- Opera Chic for example did not know that two thirds of graduates from Italy's glorious Conservatori are unemployed.
We are proud to say that Dr. Ernani (who received an MBA from an American university) and his wonderful staff at Opera di Roma has kindly provided Opera Chic with an English translation of his article, and Opera Chic is more than happy to publish it here.
The article by Bernardo Bertolucci on the newspaper Repubblica “Culture: the word forgotten by politics” has led me to reflect about how to construct the most complete picture of cultural politics and how to identify the priorities on which our Country must invest.
To promote the necessary renewal of the live performing arts there are new draft laws to be approved by the Parliament. The Minister for the Cultural Assets has given to the social Parts a rough draft about a reform of the live performing arts to be presented to the Council of Ministers before the vacations, in order to open soon after the debate at the Houses of Parliament.
The current organization of the Opera Houses structures is revealing incapacity to save both the image and the development of the offer of the cultural product of our historical Opera houses. In a climate of drecreasing consent, aggravated by befall legislative dispositions that have transferred outside a distorted vision of the artistic costs (connected to the international market) and of the cost of working, the state of degradation - with few exceptions - hasn’t been stopped yet.
It seems to me that we are losing the consideration of the Opera world and its cultural fecundity and communication. Italy cannot afford to lose the benefits.
Our Opera houses are not abstract realities: they are constituted of great professionalism, artists, musicians, singers, dancers, skilled stage and laboratories staff. They all pursue common purposes of particular social and cultural values.
Attending Opera houses the artistic production is consumed and it is possible to verify that people with different tasks are well joined in realizing a model based not on the competition but on the realization of cultural values for “Music” and “Dance”.
I feel myself to support, from my experience, that if you want to achieve the best working model for an opera house you must convince everyone to follow principles of collaboration, to feel the need of growing artistically and technically, to reach the aim to maintain and to improve the specific professional qualities.
Instead, politics should assure the professional outlets for authors, executors, interpreters, for the students from the Conservatory of Music. It is evident the political lack towards the world of the performing arts.
According to the CENSIS report dated November 2003, only the 30% of graduate student of the Conservatory of Music of the year 2002 are occupied. The 56.9% is looking for a job.
It is therefore evident that we are not giving to people involved with classical music a “beam of confidence and poetry” that is so necessary for them. But it is much more serious that we are not able to enhance the social capital of the good and of the service that has to be generated by them.
If you consider then that the Italian language is the language of Opera, it cannot be accepted that the musical life of our Country can lose important aspects of its universal meaning.
Francesco Ernani, Sovrintendente, Rome Opera House