«I, Dante’s voice in Aldo Cazzullo’s podcast on the Divine Comedy. I’ll take you on a journey with him »- time.news

by time news

The Roman actress talks about her meeting with the Supreme Poet and the importance of the voice in interpreting one of the masterpieces of world literature: “We must not get carried away or be pleased”

“Giving a voice to a book is part of my profession as an actress. I am an athlete of the heart, as Antonin Artaud says, a transceiver antenna ». The magic it has been carrying for years is contained in these few words Purple Graceful, Roman actress born in 1979, a lend your voice to the reading of dozens and dozens of audio books, from Paula by Isabel Allende a A woman by Sibilla Aleramo, without forgetting Holds Pereira by Tabucchi. In a world that thrives on “images that enchant, and sometimes confuse much more than sound, the voice educates us to listen and makes us take a journey into the imagination. The word creates ». Daughter of art, born in Rome and moved to Tunisia at the age of seven, Graziosi lived for ten years in Paris where she graduated in 2003 from the prestigious National Superior Conservatory of Dramatic Art. In reality, her encounter with the theater took place much earlier, when at the age of seventeen she was chosen by Carlo Cecchi in his Hamlet for the role of Ophelia at the Garibaldi Theater in Palermo. A “convict” encounter, which makes her meet / clash with the figure of Dante Alighieri and its hendecasyllables. «Having attended French schools – he says – I approached Dante through translations, which later came to be very useful, as a key to access the Poet’s writing. Then, I deepened my knowledge thanks to my husband, Graziano Piazza, actor, theater director. And it is precisely the Supreme Poet to whom he lent his voice in the reading of “Dante Italia”, the new podcast series by Aldo Cazzullo on Divine Comedy, made by Corriere della Sera in collaboration with Audible.

The choice of a female voice

From the start, he says, «I tried to make him a friend, through the sensitivity that befits a female voice. A voice that adapts to the forms of language and is able to transform it ». Of course, he underlines, “the choice (wanted by Aldo Cazzullo) to entrust a female voice to read some passages of the Divine Comedy it was a gamble. A useful venture, however, a stimulate the listener’s imagination, to let him travel. As when listening to fairy tales as children, the voice makes us return to the oral tradition, nourishes us, leads us by the hand in an extraordinary work, making it almost familiar to us. An intuition, as surprising as it is exciting ». Not an easy task, which required a great deal of “cleanliness and rigor, because when confronted with a masterpiece of world literature it was important to remember that it wasn’t an interpretation or a performance, and one should not let oneself be carried away or taken by the voice, taking pleasure in the task. I tried to use simple, but not simplified, language to reach the audience. A burden, and an honor. Because we have the task of returning with the voice a book written by an author, finding a balance – in fact – between the simple desire for communication, which binds us artists to the public and the exhibition ». After all – he smiles – «it was a long-term study, a training period, which then led me to give it a voice. When the time was ripe, when I had learned to “live together” with aspects of its linguistic and musical structure».

“We are Dante”

Entrust the reading of the verses of the Divine Comedy to a woman it inevitably represented a “shock” necessary to awaken the souls of all of us. “My only wish was that Dante’s verses could be received, by everyone, as closely as possible”. Verses that, even today, “tell, do not declaim, what each of us experiences and become living matter. Verses that – underlines Graziosi – are a help, a relief for us who today find ourselves confronted with a pandemic that has highlighted our human frailties“. What saves us «is culture. We artists are called to put ourselves at the service of the public. Words have healing power and universal yield, they contain the medicine for our healing process. All of us, Dante reminds us first, we are in the middle of the journey of our life ….. Dante is us. The experiences he recounted concern us and help us to face the journey of knowledge that as men and women we are called to undertake ». It is not a question, Graziosi points out, of a journey of gender, but of a journey that concerns us as «humanity».

In balance between strength and fragility

Who among us – Graziosi wonders – would not dream of “asking Virgil for help to face the doubts of his own life?”. Or again, those of us who do not see ourselves “in Ulysses, crossing the seas of life” or in “Francesca’s yearnings” (who confesses, is the character who most involved her, ed.). Dante, like all the characters of the Comedy, reminds us today – as 700 years ago – how much humanity is driven by a desire for strength and fragility, from desire to risk, even at the cost of losing, to pursue one’s dreams, to know one’s limits. And, in the light of the pandemic, “it teaches us to be reborn, with greater awareness, without wanting to forget what happened. With confidence and faith, whatever it is. Because only rebirth is life ”, adds Graziosi, underlining the importance of never losing sight the presence of a light at the end of our journey, feeble it may be.


The future of the audiobook

It is difficult not to return, at the end of an 80-minute telephone interview, to the beginning, reflecting on the theme of future dell’audiolibro: the hope – concludes Graziosi – is that «it will involve more and more people, especially young people. The market is booming, and we are working to offer an ever wider choice, and ever better quality. It is clear that it takes time because it is a delicate job, which requires care and dedication at all levels. Haste is our main enemy. Listening, which enjoyed on the subway or in traffic, feeds us with important contents, even those that we do not fully understand immediately, as in the case of Dante who leaves the listener full of questions. As for a sunset, so for the Divine Comedy, not everything is intelligible, even if it concerns us. Let us be dazzled by the beauty that invades the eyes“. The beauty that, even during the pandemic, has never failed: “I tried to put into practice the greatest teaching of the theater, the here and now, bringing for example in streaming, together with Graziano Piazza, my husband, a scenic reading from The Handmaid’s Tale – Confessions of a Handmaid by Margaret Atwood. I hope – of course – that theaters can find new vitality ».

July 22, 2021 (change July 22, 2021 | 10:09 am)

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