July 22, 2021 – 10:37 am
The actress talks about her direction of the opera that opens the Puccini Festival on Friday. “It will be in the name of tradition, with a message against violence against women. No longer tolerable “
of Francesco Ermini Polacci
Stefania Sandrelli tells us that her great love for Giacomo Puccini owes it to her grandfather Pietro, who when she was little sang her the most famous arias, holding her in his arms. In Viareggio, where the famous actress was born. And that now you are making your first opera direction, Tosca for the Puccini Festival (the inaugural title, staged on 23 July, reruns from 6 to 13 August), it is for her like the fulfillment of a long-cherished dream, of which she is particularly proud also for how it was made.
“Grandpa was moved when he sang. He had met Puccini by attending him at the great Caffè Margherita in Viareggio, they were friends of drinking and hunting. And this passion for Puccini I also passed on to my daughter Amanda and my nephew Rocco, who at the age of twenty-three is a very well-trained music addict. He also gave me a hand in preparing this show », says Stefania Sandrelli with a voice full of enthusiasm and emotion, the smiling freshness of a young girl. Tireless at work, these days he divides himself between shooting a new film, Astolfo, directed by Gianni Di Gregorio, and Tosca to Torre Del Lago: «I spent the night in white, but it doesn’t matter. I only need a couple of coffees, and I can dance the rumba non-stop, ”he laughs. And speaking of his passion for opera, he adds: “In reality, I love all music, classical, jazz, and above all the baroque one, because it is the freest, the one that lends itself best to being revisited in others as well. styles. Let’s think of what a pianist like Enrico Pieranunzi is capable of when he plays Bach or Händel ».
Her Tosca (Alberto Veronesi on the podium, scenes by Andrea Tocchio, Hiromi Omura, Vincenzo Costanzo and Franco Vassallo in the main roles) describes it as in the sign of tradition, “always in total respect of Puccini’s score, woe to betray it”, even if not it fails to present some ideas that connect it to current events: like that fuchsia-colored cloth that Tosca abandons in the church of Sant’Andrea della Valle, reproduced here taking inspiration from the severe black and white engravings by Giovambattista Piranesi. A fuchsia symbol of the fight against femicide, explains Stefania Sandrelli, and in general of violence against women, «which today is really no longer tolerable». And it is no coincidence that that fuchsia color tinges, like a macabre signal, the River Tiber on the giant map of Rome that stands out in Scarpia’s studio, in Palazzo Farnese: the color of the death of all those women who have passed through those rooms and whose bodies probably ended up there. The vision offered by the character Scarpia is also new, as Sandrelli stresses: «Scarpia is not only the evil man of power, but he is the enemy of art and artists. He hates Cavaradossi because he is a painter, he rages violently on Tosca because she is a singer. Scarpia is a sort of artist-eater ».
And in this perspective, what does Tosca’s character represent for you? “She is a restless lover, as Cavaradossi defines her when the two meet at the beginning of the opera. I like that she is a woman, and not a noblewoman: a courageous woman, who is an artist, who loves art, who rebels, refusing to accept the compromises that the time required. And Cavaradossi loves her from the bottom of his heart, he is a generous and heroic character, with more life experience than Tosca and who knows he can die ».
Actress who has marked the history of cinema, with her gaze of tender erotic sweetness, Stefania Sandrelli admits that her profession has helped her a lot in her first performance as an opera director: “The artistic baggage, the career of an actress which led me to become what I am now, they helped me to enter into symbiosis with Tosca. I followed and studied Tosca’s character as if I had to play him as an actress, trying to identify myself as fully as possible with him ». After this one Tosca, will you still try your hand at opera directing? “I would really like that very much. A title? I still choose Puccini: Bohemian. Even if in this case we have a show once signed by Ettore Scola (scheduled at the Pucciniano from 31 July, in the shooting of his nephew Marco Scola Di Mambro ed) that it will be difficult to overcome ».
But what particularly fascinates you about Puccini’s music? «The power of its being always current: even today, Puccini’s music can be sung and played by anyone. My friend Sting always says so too. A music that is capable of always transmitting something to you. And this is because I think that Puccini was basically instinctive. Just like me”.
July 22, 2021 | 10:37