INFLUENCES: ITALIAN OPERA

May 15, 2017

I still remember when my poor dog had been my model; although he was a too short, and a too “unique” type, he made my work thesis as fun as I couldn’t imagine. The last four/five months of my university experience had been one of the toughest, hardest periods of my academic carrier, completed by my best and worst times. The university required a complete study about a possible representation of an opera, movie, or TV show; even though I love cinema, I was sure to pick an opera. Few months earlier, for attaining an exam, my class got an opera called Falstaff, by Giuseppe Verdi, an Italian composer, and I had been into the piece so much since the first lecture of the script, that I decided to go to Teatro alla Scala, whose fame is known over the Italian boundaries, to face its ‘mise en scène’. Never done: the story strongly caught me, therefore obviously I choose that comedy as my thesis project. Memorable show. None of the other operas, saw in those years, marked my emotions and thoughts in the same way. Hence, I started drafting my point of view, followed by a critic and sketches: plenty of emotions where dropping on white papers and finding speech through shapes, colors, patterns and sometimes textiles.

Theatrical costumes. I already loved “playing” with drapery and creating new “skins” for my academic projects’ characters. I loved giving them sensory clothes, through which a possible audience could get the personality. Roughness, ripples, and more, broken laces on pumped up on multiple layers starched and jutting out, braids, odds fringes, velvets and interlaced metallic threads, were all used in order to define behavioral treats. All my production process, and the same final results, infused in me a joy, consequence of my proudness. In those months a joy started to spread in all my body, any nerve and any cell were full of it. The feeling, that pervaded me, was a key for facing the hitches too; although I know everything cannot be pink and flowers, as the Italian quotes says meaning anything cannot be easy and perfect, in the hard moments I was using that ‘key’, and trying to breath and trying to rise up from moments of doubt about my whole thesis. I had to get over the “problems”, and why not seeing them as a challenge. Especially costumes were my strength, I couldn’t ask for a better challenge: I was doing what I loved to do.

Any night had had its own important space in those months; any night had brought a different inspiration to my thesis project; furthermore, any night had build a new me, increasing the love for what I was producing, and that kind of happiness which supposes to be present in all people life. I was starting to project me in a future, which was slowly coming out from the blurriness and foggy image I had always had. Anyone knows how a passion can inspire and fill the daily routine; therefore, even the nighttime will be completely addicted at this fulfillment of joy and duty. Glasses on after dinner, sometimes even not being able to eat something because of the extreme focus on the work we are on, light up at the best luminance, why not a low music theme as a companion, and the wonderful sensation to be alone, simply surrounded by the dark and the city life’ silence.

Falstaff ‘showed’ me a passion that I believed I had lost. When I feel weak, the ‘paper memory’ teaches me to not lose that joy for the ideas I develop, as well as their strength and value: for anything there is always a pulling out reason that worth the fatigue of your work. Falstaff is memory too, it is remembrance of my grandmother Ida, whose devotion and affection for theatre grew mine; it is remembrance of my dog too, even though it can be read as a silly connection. Thus, I really thank Verdi’s opera for having me done such as hard moments, in which the only way to calm me down was grabbing the leash and walking my loyal furry friend who passed away just a week later my thesis’ presentation. In a unique way Falstaff gifted me the last moments with him.

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