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89Vatican working on Divine Comedy Rock Opera!

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  • roncriss
    Jan 4, 2007
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      Vatican plans punk version of Divine Comedy
      [Published: Wednesday 3, January 2007 - 09:38]

      By John Phillips in Rome

      The Vatican has challenged purist Roman Catholics by disclosing plans
      for a daring rock, punk and jazz opera version of Dante's Divine
      Comedy with a soundtrack written by an avant-garde priest.

      Monsignor Marco Frisina uses rock music as background for the
      Inferno, Gregorian chants for Purgatory and lyrical and symphonic
      classical and modern music for the advent of Paradise in the musical
      set to be staged in the autumn.

      After a premier in a leading Rome theatre sponsored jointly by the
      Vatican and Italy's two houses of parliament, the extravaganza will
      tour other major Italian and European cities "to bring back the
      attention of the widest public to Dante's immortal poem", Riccardo
      Rossi, director general of Nova Ars, the company producing the opera,
      told La Repubblica newspaper.

      The director, Elisabetta Marchetti, is recruiting a cast of 20 singer-
      actors, 30 ballet dancers led by the choreographer Anna Cuocolo, a
      100-piece orchestra and 50 extras while as many as 250 costumes will
      be designed by Alberto Spiazzi. The screenplay for the ambitious
      production, which is officially entitled The Divine Comedy, the
      Opera, and subtitled "The man who seeks love," is being written by
      Gianmario Pagano, with the sets being designed by Paolo Micciche.

      The story will be represented by 150 images, projected by six
      advanced technical systems, which will give the audience the
      impression of sitting next to the actors and dancers.

      Rehearsals are due to start at the end of this month, meaning that
      the casting for actors to play Dante, Virgil and Beatrice should be
      disclosed imminently. "The only thing certain is that Dante will be
      interpreted by a very well known Italian singer-actor," said Mr

      Dismissing suggestions that Dante's haunting literary work might be
      considered to have little relevance to modern life, Mgr Frisina, who
      has written the screenplays for popular Italian television films on
      the lives of two previous popes, John Paul II and John Paul I, said
      he was dedicating the unusual work to Pope Benedict XVI.

      "It is highly relevant... the poem is an inexhaustible source of
      stories, messages and teaching... his characters, while belonging to
      past epochs, speak to the men of today with their desire for
      knowledge, their fears, but essentially with their wish for elevation
      toward divine beauty," he told la Repubblica. "This is the poem of
      our Christian roots, of our faith, the opera of man in search of
      love, of the true sense of life... that is why I dedicate this
      musical version of the Commedia to Benedict XVI, the Pope who
      dedicated his first encyclical to love."

      Mgr Frisina said that he would use heavy metal rhythms, punk rock and
      jazz to recount Hell, Gregorian mystical music for Purgatory and a
      triumphant explosion of lyrical and symphonic music, modern as well
      as classical, to usher in Paradise.

      Recent years have seen a revival of interest in the Divine Comedy in
      Italy, with numerous public readings.

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