Al gran sole carico d'amore (in the bright sunshine heavy with love)
Scenic Action in Two Parts by Luigi Nono. Texts chosen by the composer. In Italian, Russian, French, Spanish and German with German and English surtitles. Recommended ages: 14 and over.
In his monumental revolutionary opera «Al gran sole carico d’amore» the Italian composer Luigi Nono created a glowing plea for the struggle against social injustice. Instead of a linear narrative Nono employs a self-assembled collage of revolutionary texts from Karl Marx to Che Guevara to span an arc that defies the boundaries of time and space from the Paris Commune of 1871 via the Cuban revolutionary struggle to the Vietnam War. In particular Nono commemorates women who played a key role in these revolutionary struggles such as the French communard Louise Michel, the German-Argentinian guerrilla Tamara Bunke and the title character from Gorky’s novel «The Mother». Even in the face of extreme violence these unsung heroines of history use enchantingly beautiful belcanto song to appeal for solidarity and love and human kindness.
A large orchestra, two choirs and atmospheric electronic music that is produced throughout the auditorium make «Al gran sole carico d’amore» a spectacular sonic experience.
Even though Nono does not place the focus of his work on revolutionary change but on the failure of the governing political classes and circumstances, hope continually blossoms in «Al gran sole carico d’amore» that throughout time people will always rise up against oppression and continue to fight for a more just world, something they must do. It was Luigi Nono’s declared objective not only to «awaken the ears» of audiences for his music, but to provoke them to sympathise intellectually and participate politically. In this he had a comprehensive humanitarian aim: «All my works are always based on a human cause: an event, an experience, a text about our lives will gnaw at my instincts and at my conscience and demand that I bear witness, both as a musician and as a human being.»
Following its world premiere in Milan in 1975, not least because of its highly demanding score, there were few subsequent productions of «Al gran sole carico d’amore» – the most recent being in 2009 at the Salzburg Festival. The director Sebastian Baumgarten, who has already directed Giuseppe Verdi’s «La forza del destino» for Theater Basel, now attempts a reassessment of this key work of 20th century music theatre. The baton will be taken by conductor Jonathan Stockhammer, renowned around the world for his interpretation of contemporary music, who has already worked at Theater Basel as Musical Director of the production «Satyagraha».
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