December 12 marked the 40th anniversary of the bombing in Piazza Fontana and Milan's Teatro dal Verme hosted a concert in commemoration, bearing witness through poetry and music in a tasteful, resonant event. The "Concerto per ricordare: Piazza Fontna 1969 - 2009" brought together Teatro alla Scala's Coro di Voci Bianche, Italian actress Maddalena Crippa, Italian Maestrino Alessandro Cadario, and I Cameristi della Scala (a small group of musicians who also play in the Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala and in the Filarmonica della Scala). Works played were Vaughan Williams's Magnificat, Haydn's Seven Last Words, and Mozart's Ave Verum Corpus -- nicely no predictable Requiem Mass.
On December 12, 1969 in the late afternoon, a bomb exploded at the headquarteres of Banca Nazionale dell'Agricoltura in Milan's Piazza Fontana, killing 17 and leaving 88 wounded. It began a period of terrible political unrest in Italy -- a wave of terrorist attacks that lasted well into the 1980s.
Stage Actress Maddalena Crippa read from the theater work, "Sboom!", written in remembrance of Piazza Fontana, and told the story of the December 12 massacre in detail while a list of hte 17 dead was read. Then a multimedia presentation, news footage of the bombing that was originally broadcast on RAI, with images of the aftermath.
Then Cadario in full frac, with his shaggy Abercrombie and Fitch model mane (we've blogged about his grooming habits before and for the record, we fully endorse the coiff the Italian conductor was rawking last week), led the children's chorus of la Scala in a slow and pensive reading of Mozart's short work, Ave verum Corpus. The Voci Bianche were awesome, but they need a serious wardrobe upgrade (red, unisex bowties on preteens? c'mon...).
Haydn's Seven last words was accompanied by la Crippa again, reading Milanese writer Lorenzo Arruga's Cronache di sette silenzi from 1998 between each movement. Cadario overall picked a dignified, introspective, solemn reading. Personally, we like our Haydn a bit less earthbound. Cadario used economical gestures which marked a deep and weighty interpretation. Gorgeous oboe solos in the 3rd movement allowed the work to soar. Standout movements were the second, with a nice lyricism and the sixth -- delicate pizzicato great control, and a bit of clarity.
Although the dirge-like Haydn sparkled only a few times, the breathtaking Vaughan Williams was stunning. The Coro di Voci Bianche del Teatro alla Scala came back on stage in full force. The chorus was warm and full, and pulled off a haunting and evocative piece. Cadario, working with a smaller gathering than usual for Williams' work, managed to evoke a big sound, the result a sumptuous, ethereal finale.
Bis? Of course! A sweet & sweeping christmas carol from Home Alone (Mamma, ho perso l'aereo), replete with sleigh bells, a nice way to end the evening without dwelling on too much historical trauma. Bruno Casoni took a well-deserved curtain call for the man with the golden vocal arm.
Click the link below for a few more photos from the evening...
It looks like he's taken our advice and ditched the 'stache and he looks o so cute...but now we lament that our budding Italian composer might have a latent Harry Potter fetish. Petrificus Penix Totalus! omg he cast the lameness o a Harry Potter themed-PR glossy!!
While leafing through a magazine at the nail salon waiting for the lacquer to dry, OC found a story on Alessandro Cadario, 28-year-old aspiring conductor and composer from Varese, Italy, who studies under guidance of Aldo Ceccato and Gianluigi Gelmettio in Siena's Accademia Chigiana. Although he looks like he should still be chillaxing on his parent's couch playing Ninja Gaiden and experimenting with controlled substances, he's currently training himself to invade your (opera) house.
He's never really fallen on the OC radar, having played a few free concerts around Milan (such as the inauguration of the xmas tree this past December in Galleria Vittorio Emanuele) but promises to begin 2008 with a big bang.
One of his original works is to be given a world premiere in NYC this May 2008, la prima assoluta of his Cantata for Revival. The Cantata was written for soprano, mezzo, baritone, double chorus, seven cellos, percussion and piano, and takes its cue from the Book of Revelation. kewl....apocalyptic literature gets me hawt, especially psalm 69. New Yorkers and Tri-staters can witness the work (with the Musica Sacra Chorus & Orchestra) in a double-header of Carmina Burana at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater.
Those in Milan can catch him next week on January 25, 2008 at Conservatorio G. Verdi for a special concert, "The Unanswered Question", honoring the Italian day of remembrance of the Shoah ([*warning*: link ahead has embedded music file] il Giorno della Memoria, which actually falls on January 27). Cadario will direct l’orchestra I Musici Estensi in a sampling of Mendelsshon, Bloch, Williams, Ives, and Shostakovich, free to the public. He will also perform la prima assoluta of his own work called, "Emet", (a Hebrew word that literally translates as "truth") which he wrote for 15 strings.
We're ready to join Team Cadario, although he needs to get rid of the Lourdes Ritchie 'stache. Seriously pretty much prolly basically not sexay.