The Bethroted (I Promessi Sposi) at University of St. Thomas

Thursday, March 22, 2012 – 6:30 pm
University of St. Thomas – Jones Hall Theatre
A theatrical performance based on the novel of the same name
Directed and performed by
Massimiliano Finazzer Flory

Introductory readings David Gibbons
Choreography Gilda Gelati, prima ballerina of La Scala Theatre Ballet Company, Milan
Music of Giuseppe Verdi, Pietro Mascagni, Vincenzo Bellini, Niccolò Paganini and Luciano Berio, performed by Elsa Martignoni, violinist of the Orchestra Giuseppe Verdi of Milan

Performance in Italian, with English supertitles
Duration: around 75 minutes

As part of the celebrations to mark 150 years since the unification of Italy, this performance seeks to bring together the words of Alessandro Manzoni, the best-known writer of united Italy, with music by some of the leading contemporary composers, to present a world to us which is still our own, a world which, with all its virtues, vices and contradictions, is still able to move us.

MASSIMILIANO FINAZZER FLORY, author and actor will star in this theatrical performance based on “I promessi sposi”, in Italian with English supertitles. He will be accompanied by GILDA GELATI, first ballerina of the ballet company of Teatro alla Scala, and by ELSA MARTIGNONI, violinist of the Orchestra Giuseppe Verdi of Milano.

“The Betrothed” (“I promessi sposi”) is a love story that takes place in 17th century Italy. A couple on the eve of their wedding discovers that the local baron has his eye on the girl. While famine and plague destroy an oppressed people, their love story takes on Shakespearean overtones.

The readings are from chapters I, VI, VIII, XII, XXI, XXXIV and XXXVIII of Manzoni’s novel “The Betrothed”. The challenge here is twofold: first, to allow figures such as Don Rodrigo, Padre Cristoforo, Lucia, the Unnamed, Renzo, and the people of Milan to take center stage, as though characters in a Shakespearean drama, each of them struggling with themselves first and foremost; second, to show how the language of Manzoni to this day remains choral, controversial, poetic, theatrical, and astonishingly relevant – indeed, perhaps more so now than ever before.

This blend of words, dance and music teases out the golden thread running through the novel, which is the author’s gaze – implacable, yet at the same time implicated – through which mankind is observed in its transformation from individual to collective, showing the way in which the story of each of us, whether consciously or unconsciously, is the story of us all.

Free and open to the public.
Reservations kindly suggested. Seating available on a first come basis.

Information
Date: Thursday, March 22, 2012
Hours: 6:30 pm
Site: University of St. Thomas – Jones Hall: Drama, Theatre
Address: 3910 Yoakum – Houston, Texas 77006