The myth and female resilience. “Heroine – Women in the Trojan War”: after Tindari, tonight at the Ancient Theater of Taormina


By John

The dramatic events of the last few days, and a common thread that from the past calls for an ethical mission beyond time. «Terrible episodes have happened in recent days. All of you are certainly aware of this. The workers who died in Turin. And a young musician killed in Naples. Horrible deaths, which leave one lost, helpless. Yet these tragedies must make each of us reflect on the responsibilities we have as cultural operators to transmit values ​​and beauty, especially to the younger generations.”

With these touching words, pronounced by a solemn voice-over, the first performance of “Heroina – Women in the Trojan War”, on stage last Sunday in the suggestive Greek Theater of Tindari. A compelling and current show, promoted by keeping the public’s attention intimately alive, catapulted between Greek myths and today’s reality, in a prodigiously clear temporal coming and going.

Between the texts and the direction of Mario Acampa, the actresses Elisa Lombardi, Michela Di Martino and the soprano Fé Avouglan have perfectly staged courageous nymphs, witnesses of heroines and not just heroes, telling the carnage of history and of «used women, mutilated, sold, humiliated, and then thrown into mass graves like spoiled food. Mothers, sisters, friends, abused first in the soul and then in the body by men born to women like them.” Arbitrary roles always favorable to men are overturned, even in spite of the poet Homer, «a bit “stingy” with words addressed to women».

Heartbreaking narratives, detailed in the pain of abuse not at all confined to the past: “The Trojan War is here, now.” But also passages of witty irony to reconnect the dense plots of the classical myths to the present day, recalling the “girl power” which did not exist at all in Ithaca in support of Penelope’s pains, which is certainly not expected – as instead happened in Tindari – to hear the poignant notes of “(You make me feel like) A natural woman” by Aretha Franklin. Just one of the many very high musical moments, thanks to the sweet and powerful voice of the Californian Avouglan, as well as thanks to the constant presence on stage of the Orchestra Talenti Musicali of the Crt Foundation directed by Nicolò Jacopo Suppa, who gave compositions such as Bachiana Brasileiras n . 5 by Heitor Villa Lobos, Capriol Suite by Peter Warlock or, from Tosca, Vissi d’arte vissi d’amore by Giacomo Puccini.

The arduous challenge of instilling in spectators the true essence of female resilience, reported through an unprecedented prism, ended amidst the persistent applause of a transversal audience but equally eager for healthy values, in a shared atmosphere of gratitude towards the talents who are exhibited thanks to the production of the Perosi Academy of Biella.

«I thought for a long time about how to insert today’s themes into the words of yesterday’s women – says the author Mario Acampa – then I realized that, to my ears, the women of Troy spoke exactly our language. I let Cassandra, Penelope and Briseis whisper their feelings to me and, despite my poetic license and interpretative freedom, I believe they have a lot to say to women, but above all to men today.”

Words compared to the pages of the greatest musicians, as observed by Nicolò Suppa, director of the Orchestra Talenti Musicali. From the Cantilena of Villa Lobos to Barber’s Adagio, evocation of classicism… until descending into Hades. «The score – he explains – while not talking about mournful images, is inspired by a passage from Virgil’s Georgics, in particular the trickle which, going downwards, swells and produces “raucum murmur”. Mirror of the text creates a sequence of climaxes which, starting from a sinuous, spiral motif, ascending by joint degrees, descends and ascends again, immersing the litany of the text in the torment of the notes”.
And again, among the music chosen by the artistic director Stefano Giacomelli, there are the Capriol Suite by the British Peter Warlock and the most famous arias by Puccini in the voice of the heroine Fé Avouglan. The supplication Vissi d’arte from Tosca and Un bel dì occhi from Madama Butterfly: aria-tale projection of the heroines’ desires and reflections.

«I am proud of the fact that the Ancient Theater of Tindari, a true jewel of the Archaeological Park – states the director, Anna Maria Piccione – hosted such an important representation. “Heroine – Women at the Trojan War” is not only an original reinterpretation of Homer’s Iliad but a true manifesto of the war of resilience which, yesterday as today, forces too many women to stay in the trenches to defend themselves from discrimination, violence and abuse . A nice opportunity for discussion and reflection on an unfortunately sadly current topic.”

Today, at 8.45pm, passing of the baton at the Ancient Theater of Taormina, which will welcome the ensemble. In the inimitable scenario, in synergy with the Bonino Pulejo Foundation in the common mission aimed in particular at supporting the young generations, the same show will be proposed again to a new audience: «So that nothing of the horror experienced is repeated again».