Dorian Gray © Gregorio Zurla i
For 2024 - Fondazione Haydn Stiftung, Opéra Grand Avignon and Neue Oper Wien have joined forces in a project dedicated to a new opera inspired by Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. The composition, published by Casa Ricordi, is entrusted to Matteo Franceschini and Stefano Simone Pintor, who had already staged successful contemporary music theatre pieces. With this new title, the two artists set the goal of continuing Wilde's reflection on the role of art in our lives and projecting it into our contemporary society, which is experiencing a profound crisis of values.
As a matter of fact, in Wilde’s narrative we find many human dynamics that are today exploded and taken to excess, such as the increasingly individualistic and selfish morality, the obsession with an increasingly accelerated life, in which time is something to be slowed down to allow us to experience everything possible. Since, on man, time manifests itself with bodily decay, the solution is to stop it at the moment of his maximum biological potency. The result is an obsession with image, perceived as testimony to our youth and human power, which we would like to be inexhaustible. Aesthetic, material beauty then becomes the pivotal value, the modern myth to be pursued. In this sense, no work more than this could reflect our society and show our vices. Because, quoting Wilde, it is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.
So, this is the challenge: to create a choral work, which is not the portrait of an individual, called Dorian Gray, but of all those who are mirrored in him, both all the other characters, and ourselves.
""We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless."", in this sense music, at the same time physical and impalpable, becomes the instrument of choice to rediscover this immaterial beauty, to be contrasted with the material one.
MUSIC - Matteo Franceschini, LIBRETTO AND STAGE DIRECTION - Stefano Simone Pintor, SET DESIGN - Gregorio Zurla, COSTUME DESIGN - Alberto Allegretti, LIGHTING DESIGN - Fiammetta Baldiserri The creative team is made of a several Italian artists, mainly up-and-coming artists in opera, already experienced in several national and international projects for both drama and musical theatre but also contemporary dance. The team is homogeneous and robust as blended within its experiences in the performing arts field, fine arts and fashion, and artists under and over 35. As a matter of fact, for the contemporary creation of European musical theater, the involvement of artists who can tell a new vision and are free to experiment with new languages is important. The project partners can be an excellent hotbed of ideas and a pitch window for artists who want to build careers in major circuits and theaters of considerable international interest. DIRECTOR - TBD MAIN ROLE - Dorian Gray: Actor TBD OTHER CHARACTERS - 6 opera singers TBD In the second stage, the Artistic Team will be expanded by the singing cast and conductor who would like to be representative of the international partnership between institutions and the idea of a modern, globalized metropolis as modern-day London – where a gender fluid actor can perfectly portrayed a contemporary Dorian Gray.