In Syracuse we start tonight with Sophocles' Ajax. AI debuts with a QR code for simultaneous translation


By John

Sophocles' Ajax opens the 59th season of classical performances at the Greek theater in Syracuse this evening. The tragedy, in the translation by Walter Lapini, directed by Luca Micheletti, was chosen to celebrate the 110 years since the first classical performance of the National Institute of Ancient Drama, together with Phaedra (Hippolitus bearer of the crown) by Euripides, directed by the director Scottish Paul Curran in the translation from the Greek by Nicola Crocetti, which debuts tomorrow.

As tradition for Syracuse, no national institutional or VIP presence is expected at the premieres: the ancient auditorium will still be sold out. The pre-sale of tickets for both tragedies is constantly growing and especially in the period of May there are many students who have already booked a stone seat to listen to the verses of the ancient Greek poets.

Tonight at 7pm in the ancient cavea it will also be a first for artificial intelligence: the Inda Foundation has introduced a QR code that allows you to follow the show in simultaneous translation into your own language using a headset. This evening in English, but then the system will allow translation into all languages.

Micheletti, making his debut in Syracuse, will have the pleasure of having in the stands the author of the music Giovanni Sollima. The baritone from Brescia, in addition to directing the show, plays the role of the protagonist Ajax; in the cast Roberto Latini (Athena / Messenger), Daniele Salvo (Odisseo) (who returns to Greek theater after directing Ajax in 2010), Diana Manea (Tecmessa), Tommaso Cardarelli (Teucer), Michele Nani (Menelaus), Edoardo Siravo (Agamemnon), Lidia Carew (Ate/Thanatos), Giorgio Bongiovanni, Lorenzo Grilli, Mino Manni, Francesco Martucci (Corifei); Giovanni Accardi, Gaetano Aiello, Ottavio Cannizzaro, Pasquale Conticelli, Giovanni Dragano, Raffaele Ficiur, Gianni Giuga, Paolo Leonardi, Marcello Mancini, Marcello Zinzani (Coreuti). Micheletti's staging also includes Francesco Angelico, Christian Barraco, Cecilia Costanzo (cellos); Giovanni Caruso (percussion) and Giuseppina Vergine (harp) who will play live.

«Tragedy of horror and madness Ajax is also a powerful meditation on the condition of man struggling with his own destiny, uncertain and often senseless” explains Micheletti. Sets and lighting design by Nicolas Bovey, costumes by Daniele Gelsi in collaboration with Elisa Balbo. The choir master is Davide Cavalli, the other choir master is Marcello Mancini. Finally, the choreography is by Fabrizio Angelini.

Tomorrow the premiere for Phaedra (crown-bearing Hippolytus) by Euripides with Alessandra Salamida as Phaedra, while Riccardo Livermore will play Ippolito. The cast is made up of Ilaria Genatiempo (Aphrodite), Sergio Mancinelli (a Servant), Gaia Aprea (Nurse), Alessandro Albertin (Teseo), Marcello Gravina (Messenger), Giovanna Di Rauso (Artemide). And then Simonetta Cartia, Elena Polic Greco, Giada Lorusso, Maria Grazia Solano (Corifeee); while Alba Sofia Vella, Giulia Valentini, Miriam Scala, Valentina Corrao and Maddalena Serratore (Women's Choir of Trezene). The sets and costumes are by Gary McCann, the choir is directed by Francesca Della Monica; opening chorus music by Matthews Barnes and show music by Ernani Maletta.

“The ancient story of Phaedra resonates with surprising relevance today, highlighting contemporary concerns about mental health, unhealthy obsessions and their dangerous outcomes,” explains Paul Curran. Fifth staging at the Greek Theater of Syracuse for Euripides' text after the 1936, 1956, 1970 and 2010 editions.

This year's poster is an unpublished work, entitled “Triscele” by Enzo Cucchiinternationally renowned painter and sculptor considered the most visionary artist among the exponents of the Transavantgarde.