Corelli trasformato in quattro Antifone e otto Tantum ergo da Antonio Tonelli Carpigiano (1986)

On occasion of the 300th birth anniversary of the composer Antonio Tonelli (Carpi 1686-1765) the Municipality of Carpi and the Music High School "Antonio Tonelli" organized a conference and some concerts. I was invited since in my degree thesis* (Ca' Foscari University 1982) I had transcribed, harmonized and analyzed the trasformation operated by Antonio Tonelli of some pieces from op.3 and op.4 by Arcangelo Corelli into four Antifone and eight Tantum ergo for voices, strings and thorough-bass (about 1730)
My speech was published with the title  Attualità di un metodo didattico del '700  in  La Cartellina  (bimonthly magazine about didactics and choral music) n. 45 - September 1986, Ed. Suvini Zerboni, Milano, pp. 20-32 and in the collective volume  Antonio Tonelli da Carpi (1686-1765) nel Tricentenario della nascita, edited by Stamperia del Comune di Carpi, 1988, pp. 21-34.

* Commissioned by the 4th Festival Vivaldi on occasion of the first modern performance (Venezia, Chiesa di Santo Stefano, 10th of September 1982).

LE VOCI DAL MARE - Lessico delle "Baruffe" by Carlo Saletti (1988)

in: Quaderno n.14  published by VenetoTeatro - September 1988, pag.44
Le Baruffe Chiozzotte by Carlo Goldoni, directed by Gianfranco de Bosio, scenery by  Emanuele Luzzati, costumes di Santuzza Calì, music by Maria Gabriella Zen (Orione-Nuove Proposte Musicali di RaiRadio3 1989 Prize)
First performance: Verona, Teatro Romano, 21st of July 1988

Cinque Lieder (1993)

"Zbigniew Herbert is a poet of extraordinary economy. In his lines there is nothing rhetorical or exhortative, (...) his real enemy is the vulgarity of the human heart." from Letter to the Italian reader by Iosif Brodskij

ESSAYS for SISSA of Trieste (Superior International School for Advanced Studies) (1994)

In Fall 1993 I started cooperating with the 'Laboratorio Interdisciplinare per le Scienze Naturali ed Umanistiche' founded and directed by Claudio Magris in the context of the Superior Internazional School for Advanced Studies of Trieste. The meetings took place in room 204 of the International Centre for Theoretical Physics and they were an exciting comparison on creativity between scientists and humanists.
Our reflections were periodically published in preprints edited by the "Linguaggi Letterari e Linguaggi Scientifici" department.


Drafts for a Musical

In der Wüste (2003)

In October 2003 I was invited to represent Italy in the Workshop for European artists organized by ZIEL 1 = KUNST = ZIEL 1 and by MEP Christa Prets at Oslip (Austria).
Lines in the fascinating English by T.S. Eliot - from The Waste Land and from Ash Wednesday- and by Isaia in the Latin Vulgata (the two common European languages of the past and of the present)  create the text of In der Wüste for mezzosopran, alto and three percussionists (2003)

Kompositionen für Stimme zeitgenössischer italienischer Komponistinnen by Ute Büchter-Römer (2003)

Professor Dr. Ute Büchter-Römer (Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät der Universität zu Köln) published in n.66 - Winter 2003 of the review  Viva Voce  the article   Compositions for voice by contemporary Italian composers  analysing works by Teresa Procaccini, Paola Ciarlantini, Paola Livorsi and my  Salmi (1993),  composition shortlisted in the "Olympia International Composition Prize 1993" of Athens

Ruzante e la musica by Licia Mari (2003)

La musica nelle messinscene del novecento (p.2) in Regional website about Ruzante

Chronos parádoksos - Libretto for an "European" opera by Gianfranco de Bosio and Maria Gabriella Zen (2007)

Chronos parádoksos is the fruit of RESTLESS RELATIONS project, winner of the EACEA (European Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency) call n°09/2006 of UE Cultural Programme 2007-2013 for a new opera choosing as a theme "the transmission of the European cultural identity" 

The challenge of our opera Chronos Parádoksos  (2007-2010) is to create a new piece of art that surpasses the conventional developing process of a traditional opera, in order to describing some of the dramatic moments that broght to the decision of building a United Europe.
The title comes from a line  by Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska. 
The opera has been inspired by the first European example of "theatrical" discussion of civil and political issues: the Greek Tragedy. Choosing the structure of the Greek Tragedy has been a very important musical challange, since Opera was born during the Renaissance with the sole purpose of reproducing the ancient performance made of poetry, music and dance. Chronos parádoksos is based on the structure of The Persians, by Aeschylus, the only example we have of "historical tragedy". In our opera the use of the ancient structure also takes on an expressive meaning: the Parodos, the three Stasimos and the Epilogue are mostly choral pieces during which dancing always takes place. Generally they are the most 'communicative' and 'expressive' parts of the opera. The Prologue and the four Episodes are musically much more complex, and created with musical material from the great European tradition: Bach, Beethoven, Mussorsky, Berg and even melodies from two songs by Garcia Lorca. 
Chronos parádoksos tries to illustrate the complexities and harmony of European culture. Through the original versions of European poets' works, spectators will be able to enjoy an opera which represents some of the most important European languages: alongside performing in ancient Greek and medieval Latin, the singers will sing of the sorrowful memories of the past in German, Spanish, Polish, Italian, Portuguese, English, French, Hungarian and Sephardic Jewish.
Europe's History and Tradition are clearly the inspiration, as the subjetcts are key moments of Europe's turbulent past (from the Spanish Civil War to the Second World War and the Holocaust) which gave rise to to the long lasting peace that Europe's citizens enjoy in this present day.
The original texts of the poems, which are sung by twelve singers both solo and in choir, and their translation into the local language, will be projected on two screen on the apronstage. Dancers will provide a visual representation of the plot. A large central screen will host the scenographic ideas relating to contemporary art. The costumes will be very simple and the different historical periods will be represented by accessories. 

Our opera has not yet been represented, but the libretto debuted on the 20th of March 2011 in the Italian translation at Teatro Filarmonico in Verona, performed by the actors of Scuola del Piccolo Teatro di Milano directed by Gianfranco de Bosio. This performance won the 2012 Matteotti  Prize assigned every year by the Presidency of the Council dei Ministers to Theatrical plays  "illustrating the ideals of brotherhood among peoples, freedom and social justice that inspired the life of Giacomo Matteotti"

The PhD thesis I wrote on Chronos parádoksos, containing also libretto and orchestral score, is published in the open access Ca' Foscari University site  

Full score available for free downloading in COMPOSITIONS/CATALOG OF WORKS.

Ultime rime d'amore (2008)

Gaspara Stampa (1523-1554), the greatest poet of her time and, according to Maria Bellonci absolutely the greatest Italian poetess, wrote her last fifteen sonnets of Rime d'amore (CCVII - CCXXI) for the Venetian patrician Bartolomeo Zen, who could give her finally  L' Amore Felice, pursued in vain in her  Canzoniere  for Collaltino di Collalto.
These sonnets of a mature time - to them belongs also the very famous line Viver ardendo e non sentire il male  that Gabriele D'Annunzio embedded in his prose - are at first aimed towards ambiguous contrasts of feelings, internally accelerated, rebellious and frantic, but they finally come to sing the serenity and fullness of the shared love.

Logbook about the Workshop Studio su Orlando - Biennale Teatro 2008 (2009)

In autumn 2008 I held, in the context of the International Theatre Workshop of La Biennale di Venezia, the seminar Studio su Orlando about composing and rehearsing my music for the dramaturgical project Orlando adapted by Stefano Pagin from Virginia Woolf's novel.  
An editorial board, made up mainly of students, decided to observe and then relate in the form of continual reports, interviews and critical notes. The documentation is part of the Catalog of the 40th International Theatre Festival Mediterraneo, directed by Maurio Scaparro (Marsilio Editori, Venezia 2009)


Seven Variations on  Là ci darem la mano
for female choir, percussions (and organ in a faraway room)

Seven Variations inspired by the myth of Don Juan stands in direct relation to the Mozart's Duettino Là ci darem la mano, sung at regular intervals from the loggia of the same floor. They gradually fade slowly through the poetic focus on the world 'hand', from a mythical idea of 'enchantment of love' to the distress of 'disenchantment of love'.
The Variations elaborate, in order to recreate the poetic suggestions of "Live electronics" by the  percussion instruments, musical materials from the Diettino Là ci darem la mano, from the Recitativo that comes before and from the Final of Don Juan: all situations in which the fingers or the hands (home of the lifeblood and of love, according to the ancient Greeks) are the center of attention.
Texts taken from poems by Heine, Euripides, Rilke, Leopardi.


Videomelologue for narrator's voice, soprano, flute/bass flute and two percussionists
Text by Maria Gabriella Zen from Ladine legends and letters from battlefront (1915-1917) by Giuseppe and Eugenio Garrone


Historical dramaturgy
Written for Storie di guerra e di pace - Competition announced by Teatro Stabile del Veneto on the occasion of the centenary of the World War I


Dramaturgy freely inspired to Alcesti by Euripides
Written for Premio Platea per la Nuova Drammaturgia -  1st Edition 2016 

Gianfranco de Bosio's spiritual testament (2022)

Ten years after getting the Giacomo Matteotti Prize -VIII Edition 2012 by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers for the libretto of our "European" opera Chronos paràdoksos (2007-2010) Gianfranco de Bosio and I felt the need, in the last days of April 2022, while Europe was prey of the most dramatic crisis of the last years because of the war between Russia and Ukraine, to rewrite the ending of our work in order to relaunch the authentic message of the European culture, that has always aspired to represent the occasion to overcome the hates and the contrasts in order to create  bridges between distant and incompatible positions. The EPILOGUE (The Foundation of the Common Law) has been reviewed in the light of the latest events and the poem Belfast 21st of November by Mario Luzi has been substituted by an interweaving of lines by Russian and Ukrainian poets. They witness the essential community of values that are above any occasion of clash and violence. This poliphony of poetry enlarges the borders of Europe in order to host again both of the peoples in a community that for hundreds of years shares a cultural koinè that the neoclassical architectures of Saint Petersburg and Odessa speechless testify to the entire world.

Gianfranco de Bosio left us suddendly on the evening of the 2nf of May 2022, entrusting us this spiritual testament, worthy of an entire life he spent at the service of the stage, of the music, of the reserch and of the civil and cultural commitment. Chronos paràdoksos is published in Ca' Foscari University open access site in the original version

Preface to the photographic book Fior da fiore: Sicilia, la mia terra by Maurizio Karra - Ed. Fotograf, Palermo 2022 (2022)

"Da dove mi viene la profonda sensazione di tanto calore e di tanta luce?"*
Dai giorni felici trascorsi assieme a Maurizio Karra in Sicilia: è la terra d’origine di mia
mamma e la frequento da sempre, ma mi si è svelata solo quando cinquant’anni fa,
ragazzina quattordicenne, ho cominciato a fare le prime passeggiate ideate e guidate da
lui nei gangli storico-artistici, allora ai più totalmente sconosciuti, del centro di Palermo.
Grazie a lui ho poi visto, negli anni successivi, moltissimi dei paesaggi, delle feste,
delle persone, degli edifici fotografati in questo libro, in giorni luminosi di cui rimane
traccia perpetua nel mio cuore: Maurizio ha, infatti, il dono di cogliere l’essenza di ogni
luogo grazie allo sconfinato amore per la sua terra e alle sue prodigiose conoscenze
storiche, antropologiche, culturali nel senso più profondo.
Il mio consiglio è di approfittare del suo generoso lavoro per creare magici itinerari
che vi arricchiranno per sempre. Visitate i luoghi fotografati leggendo le sue parole come
se Maurizio fosse con voi e la Sicilia entrerà nella vostra anima: non potrete mai più fare
a meno di tornare periodicamente per abbeverarvi a tanta bellezza e trovarvi "la chiave
di tutto", come scrisse Goethe.
(*)lines from the poem by Robert Frost  Happiness makes up in height for what il lacks in length

ISBN 978-88-97988-61-8

Le case di Venezia (2023)

No music at all for these poems