This project marks the 6th collaboration between director Katie Mitchell and 59 Productions creative director Leo Warner. The production – which was part of the Salzburg International Festival’s 2009 season – presented seminal Italian composer Luigi Nono’s extraordinary opera using the intricate live filming techniques developed over previous productions including After Dido (ENO 2009), Wunschkonzert (Schauspiel Koln, 2008) and …some trace of her (National Theatre, 2008).
“‘Beauty is not opposed to revolution’ as a saying by Ernesto Che Guevara goes. This sentence hangs like a banner over the works of Luigi Nono, the Italian composer who has been the cause of passionate discussions for years. Guevara’s sentence is also the title for the prologue of Nono’s opera Al gran sole carico d’amore – which means “In the Bright Sunshine, Charged with Love” and refers to a poem by Arthur Rimbaud. Nono calls his composition for music theater an azione scenica in two parts. There is no traditional dramaturgy in this work. Today, one would call it a great collage, with texts by Brecht, Gorky, Pavese, Rimbaud and many others. The basic idea of the piece is the eternal female presence in life, in war, in love; yesterday, today, tomorrow, interwoven by anticipation and fragmentation, from the Cuban Revolution to the 1917 Soviet one, from the Russian Revolution of 1905 to the Paris Commune, leading into the Italian Resistenza. Basically, this opera is a great requiem for lost hopes and the failing of utopias – and together with Alban Berg’s Wozzeck and Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten, it is one of the great works of modern music theater.”
Jurgen Flimm (Artistic Director, Salzburg International Festival)