71st Cycle of Classical Plays

'Conversations' at the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza

From 22 September 2018 to 27 October 2018

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Conversazioni’71st Cycle of Classical Plays at the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza: the program for 2018 will feature 8 shows for a total of 18 evenings from September 22nd to October 27th!

Since 1934 the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza - the oldest covered theater in the history of Western culture – has hosted one of the most important and uninterrupted cycles of classical shows, a series of theatrical performances dedicated to classical theater. In recent years, the Olympic Theatre classic shows in Vicenza have also featured contemporary theater and welcomed some of the greatest interpreters and directors of the 20th century.

After the past editions directed by Eimuntas Nekrosius and Emma Dante, in 2016 the baton was passed to Franco Laera, not a director but a 'curator', with the task of renewing the relationship between the performance areas and the artists.

The Teatro Olimpico performances of 'Conversazioni' in Vicenza in 2018 will bring to an end the three-year under his direction, which has focused on three guidelines: reinterpreting classical texts for contemporary creation, proposing an idea of theater inspired by multiple expressive languages, involving both international artists and new creative forces.

Laera’s artistic direction has therefore cleared the way to a new era of events at the Palladio Theatre in Vicenza, succeeding in renewing the old formats without compromising the quality standard achieved to the present day. 'Conversations' aims to establish a comparison between the different forms of artistic expression, but also between the artists themselves and their subjective conception of artistic production. Laera aspired at turning the event into a kind of performing arts festival, also involving other famous places of Vicenza’s historic centre so as to give the right space to each show, thereby creating a sort of harmony between the structure and the show itself.

In fact, the event calendar at the Olympic Theatre in Vicenza – which remains the undisputed stage of classical shows - have seen, during the three years under his direction, other locations in Vicenza being involved, such as Palazzo Leoni Montanari, Palazzo Chiericati and Teatro Astra.

The new edition of the Olympic Theatre in Vicenza classic plays does not fall short of the three guidelines introduced by Laera, in particular with 'Oedipus' by Robert Wilson, one of the most important figures in the international theater scene, a performance conceived specifically for the Teatro Olimpico and inspired precisely by the text staged on the evening of 3 March 1585, on the occasion of the inauguration of Palladio’s theater. Wilson's version will wow the audience with its original setting, which aims to break down every barrier between theater, dance, music and visual art.

The other Teatro Olimpico Vicenza events in 2018 range from the forms of Monteverdi's musical theater to contemporary creations, which on the one hand will revisit contemporary events through classic themes, on the other will evoke figures from the classical world through a contemporary dramaturgy. The closing of the 71st edition will feature Tiresia, an enigmatic figure of classical mythology capable of predicting the future, which will be staged twice during the Teatro Olimpico Vicenza programme in 2018.

'The return of Ulysses in his homeland' by Claudio Monteverdi on a libretto by Giacomo Badoaro, taken from the last books of the Odyssey, was chosen as the prologue of the 71st Cycle of Olympic Theatre Classic Shows in Vicenza. Furio Zanasi, a leading figure in the repertoire of ancient music, will play Ulysses, while the performance is entrusted to the ensemble 'Il Teatro Armonico', directed by Margherita Dalla Vecchia, in the stage adaptation of Deda Cristina Colonna.

At the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, the classic 2018 shows will officially open with much-awaited 'Oedipus' by Robert Wilson. Following his work ethos, the American director has worked on the staging of the show for more than two years through a series of interdisciplinary workshops held in different cities.

Thanks to the collaboration with the Vicenza Quartet Society, the program of the Olympic Theatre Palladio events in Vicenza in 2018 will also bring on stage a fascinating cross between theater and music in 'Falstaff', a Verdi title taken from Shakespeare. Directed by Iván Fisher, at the head of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, it will see the famous baritone Ambrogio Maestri in the role of the protagonist.

Among the Teatro Olimpico Vicenza concerts in 2018 is also a lyric-symphonic concert: on the stage again the Budapest Festival Orchestra conducted by Iván Fischer who will perform famous opera arias by Verdi, Donizetti, Mozart, Rossini, and Schubert's 5th Symphony and a tribute to Eastern European folk music with the Dvořák Slavic Dances and the Kodály Galánta Dances. The sopranos Eva Mei and Sylvia Schwartz, the tenor Xabier Anduaga and the baritone Tassis Christoyannis, already in the cast of Falstaff, will be the protagonists of the evening.

A real premiere and for the first time staged as part of the Teatro Olimpico performances, 'Elettra' by Euripide will feature a dramaturgy strongly marked by the feminine which will combine the classic text with Marguerite Yourcenar’ Elettra. Directed by Daniela Nicosia and translated by Caterina Barone.

'Molten gold. The myth of wealth from King Midas to bitcoins' will instead offer an interesting encounter between myth and contemporaneity. Conceived and premiered specifically for the 71st Cycle of Classical Shows, it delves on a theme tightly related to the mythology of the Northeast, gold and its nuances, with references to classical figures - such as Moliere’s The Miser or Aristophanes’ Pluto - and legendary golden pots, with a look at the relevance of a country that in recent years has experienced an authentic drama brought on by money and its aberrations.

In 'Voci di tenebra azzurra', directed by Piergiorgio Piccoli on a text by Mariangela Gualtieri, theater and poetry will merge into a show able to offer interesting food for thought. The soothsayer Tiresias, proposed in women's clothing, hears the prophetic voices of today's world: if the prophetic figures linked to myth are characterized by reticence - because the future fears being unveiled and the truth often generates horror - nowadays, in a society full of false prophets who always tend to reassure or, conversely, to predict catastrophes, it is the world that no longer wants to listen.

Another combination, this time between theater and dance, is 'Tiresias. The double life of the mantis - by and with Michalis Theophanous, Greek dancer and choreographer who has worked extensively with Dimitris Papaioannou and also collaborated with Robert Wilson – a show again focused on the figure of Tiresias. Presented as an Italian premiere at the 2018 Teatro Olimpico Vicenza Festival, it is an allegorical performance between dance and performing art that aims to explore the complex nature of this character which, paradoxically, is the catalyst of 'Oedipus' development even if it remains at the margin.

'Conversazioni' 71st Cycle of Classic Shows at the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza

  • Prologue
    Olympic Theater
    22 September, 20.30
    23 September, 18.30
    Il Teatro Armonico
    Olympic Theater
    4-5-6 October, 20.30
    7 October, 18.30
    Robert Wilson
    Olympic Theater
    12 and 14 October, 20.00
    Iván Fischer Opera Company
    Olympic Theater
    13 October, 20.30
    Budapest Festival Orchestra
    Olympic Theater
    20 October 20t, 20.30
    21 October, 18.30
    Tib Theater
    Astra Theater
    11-12-13 October, 21.00
    La Piccionaia
    Olympic Theater
    25 and 26 October, 20.30
    Theama Teatro
    Astra Theater
    26 and 27 October, 21.00
    Michalis Theophanous

Don’t miss the rich 2018 Teatro Olimpico Vicenza program and stop for a few days in Vicenza to discover the city of Palladio with our fascinating guided tours!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff