‘Co₂.’ Intervista a Giorgio Battistelli
On the 16th of June 2015, the premiere of the opera CO₂ by Giorgio Battistelli, based on a libretto by Ian Burton and directed by Robert Carsen, opened at the Teatro alla Scala, meeting with great acclaim from the critics and public. After a long period of preparatory work and many changes in the production, the opera coincided with EXPO 2015, addressing, as it does, environmental issues and deliberately broaching exceptionally topical issues in economic, social and political thinking. Highlighting a subject as urgent as the pollution of the Earth in an operatic setting achieved a double effect: it created an opera which functions as a means of reflection on contemporary reality – this is already evident in the title, a chemical formula repeated so often nowadays that it even appears in the recent papal encyclical – and produced sung theatre with no frills which is able to express a universal truth. These elements are at the heart of the opera’s originality: CO₂ can rightly be considered the opera of the New Millennium. During the conversation, which took place in Rome on the 30th of March 2015, Giorgio Battistelli talked with great enthusiasm about how important it is to make music theatre an expression of social commitment. When he speaks on this subject, you can perceive his close attention for the theatrical word, for the musicality of his work and for its ethical and ideological content which, however, never falls into the trap of rhetoric. The sincerity and character of the author shine through the interview, as do his writing methods, and in the generous and forthcoming dialogue we get a faithful picture of his painstaking creative process.
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