“Petruzzu e 'u Lupu”, the musical fairy tale comes to life in Sicilian


By John

One of the most original and famous musical fairy tales will make its world premiere today in Casalvecchio Siculo (Messina), among the events of the “Circe Project”, promoted by Corelli Conservatory of Messina within the scope of the Pnrr. In the splendid setting of Piazza Municipio (6.30 pm), “Pierino and the Wolf” by Sergei Prokofiev will be proposed in the unpublished version in Sicilian language, «Petruzzu e 'u Lupu», edited by the journalist and writer from Messina Geri Villaroel.
The actor from Agrigento is the narrator on the stage Gianfranco Jannuzzoaccompanied by the Orchestra of the Peloritano musical institute directed by the maestro Michele Amoroso.
«Prokofiev's music is extraordinary – Jannuzzo told us – as is the underlying idea, which was to create a fairy tale in which the characters were played by instruments. Thanks to Amoroso's talent and the great preparation work done also with the president of Corelli Egidio Bernava, we hope to give a fun and engaging show, especially for children.”
This new edition is a challenge both for the importance of the narrator and the use of the Sicilian dialect, and for the legacy of the memorable performances of Benigni and Proietti…
«Proietti was a teacher of mine and I remember him with great affection. The versions cited are highlights performed by great performers, which should be kept in mind when staging the opera. I am honored to have been chosen for the narration, because I have made Sicilian my flag, including it in many shows; it represents our linguistic identity, strong, important and cultured, full of references to the dominations that have failed to conquer us. In fact, it is no coincidence that we are talking about the language and not the Sicilian dialect. A language that represents the only novelty of this version of the work, translated from Russian into Ukrainian, English and Italian.”
“Peter and the Wolf” is a simple and engaging coming-of-age story, inspired by traditional Russian tales. What could be the relevance of this story, set in the historical context of the author but at the same time universal?
«Prokofiev underlines several times in the text that children are not afraid of anything, they face the dangers of life recklessly. In fact, it is the adult figure of his grandfather who warns Pierino of the dangers represented by a dark forest, from which dangerous situations and beings such as the wolf are likely to emerge. But in the end it will be the boy himself who will defeat evil with the help of his animal friends, averting danger for himself and others. It has a positive development, therefore, whose relevance lies precisely in the metaphor of the fight against evil, in contrast with a concept of good relevant to today's war climate, which children themselves perceive and express especially when they draw the war and its end, aware that it is something terrible in which other children die. In fact, I hope that the message reaches them above all.”
Can a generation accustomed to artistic enjoyment conveyed by new technologies be involved in a work of this caliber?
«The language of the work is precisely the antithesis of smartphones, because it suggests children to imagine situations through music, which, as Benigni himself reminded us, is a human invention, so they too think in terms musical. It is the outlet of the imagination to the nth degree, being the only thing we can feel without needing the other senses; and this is what makes it extraordinary.”