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Dangerous Liaisons

Fortezza Vecchia
Free event
Musical reading freely inspired by Cavalleria Rusticana
Production Mascagni Festival / AidaStudioProduzioni
Santuzza Stefania Sandrelli, Soprano Tso Hanying, Piano Rocco Rey Ruina, Dramaturgy Debora Pioli
Directed by Marco Voleri

With this reading, the entire story of Cavalleria Rusticana is read from Santuzza’s perspective. Within her lives the pride of wounded and betrayed love, the despair of a woman who feels she has lost her man, the darkness of a day without sun, the fear of having lost happiness forever. But Santuzza is not driven by passive emotions, she is fueled by extreme determination, she is not a woman who remains silent, who cries in silence.

She is a woman endowed with a wealth of emotions and a rare vitality. She is a woman who speaks out, who is not driven by desires for revenge, but for justice.

The combination of these characteristics delivers to the opera stage a unique character, far from any stereotype, in whom we recognize more than in any other the signs of novelty that belong to Cavalleria Rusticana and Mascagni’s feminine universe.

With this reading, we aim to reveal how Cavalleria Rusticana is not just a drama of jealousy or a genre scene, there is something important that, when read today, goes beyond the triangle of adultery so dear to bourgeois drama: there is an important work on women, there is a disruptive force that brings on stage an internal tragedy, one that leaves no escape, one that represents, without possible solutions or accommodations, the lacerations of a male chauvinist mentality sadly still alive today.

It is a tragedy that is very contemporary: Santuzza is a woman who is forced to rely on patriarchal rules and uses them to her advantage to redeem her honor because in a community that condemns her, it is the only way to regain a role and not be marginalized.

Many of the murders and femicides we read about every day still arise from situations like these, from the drama of female loneliness, from the protection of male honor, incredibly alive even today.

The message of this reading that gives voice to Santuzza, to the woman who does not intend to submit and to her inner world, is a strong message: it is necessary to fight stereotypes and prejudices, denounce injustices, treat men and women in the same way. Today, many of the violence within relationships can be attributed to the increasing inability of some men to find a balance between frustrations and lack of possession. In a context where the woman is progressively asserting her identity and role, men struggle to find a balance between desire and higher law. We witness the inability of men to interpret this paradigm shift: mine or no one, is the insane belief that opens the abyss of violence. Let us learn from Santuzza the courage to speak out and not submit to the choices of men, but let us do this away from the rules of patriarchy.