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La Biennale di Venezia

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Biennale College Musica - Four one-act operas

El sueño de Dalí en una noche de Picasso (2018, 20’) world premiere
Ignacio Ferrando, Jorge Ferrando music and libretto
Irene de Lelio stage direction
Sascha Emanuel Kramer  Dalí
Lucas Moreira Cardoso  Picasso
Elena Tereshchenko  Gala
Enrico Zara  Federico
Marco Ferraro  Guitar player
Diletta Maria Buschi set and costume design
Moritz Zavan Stoeckle light design
Anna Lazzarini make-up
Marina D’Ambroso, Alessia Toffanin répétiteurs
La Biennale di Venezia production

Rodi, rodi! Morsicchia! La casina chi rosicchia? (2018, 20’) world premiere
Sofia Avramidou music
Cecilia D’Amico libretto
Katrin Hammerl stage direction
Paolo Cutuli  A man
Claire Michel de Haas  A journalist / A TV presenter
Rosaria Angotti  A child / Hansel
Felicita Brusoni  A child / Gretel
Anne Wallucks, set design
Moritz Zavan Stoeckle light design
Katrin Hammerl, Anne Wallucks costumes
Anna Lazzarini make-up
Marina D’Ambroso, Alessia Toffanin répétiteurs
La Biennale di Venezia production

Trìstrofa​ (2018, 20’) world premiere
Elisa Corpolongo music
Ilaria Diotallevi libretto
Irene de Lelio stage direction
Felicita Brusoni  Scarterìn Les BonBon / Losünge Bildmage
Claire Michel de Haas  Plufghig Lucht / Strippy Sox
Elena Tereshchenko  Deus ex Machina
Diletta Maria Buschi set design and costumes
Moritz Zavan Stoeckle light design
Anna Lazzarini make-up
Marina D’Ambroso, Alessia Toffanin répétiteurs
La Biennale di Venezia production

Push! (2018, 20’) world premiere
Alvise Zambon music
Maria Guzzon libretto
Katrin Hammerl stage direction
Francesco Basso  Black
Antoin Herrera-Lopez Kessel  White
Rosaria Angotti  Eve
Paolo Cutuli  Assistant
Marco Ferraro  Assistant
Anne Wallucks set design
Moritz Zavan Stoeckle light design
Katrin Hammerl / Anne Wallucks costumes
Anna Lazzarini make-up
Marina D’Ambroso, Alessia Toffanin répétiteurs
La Biennale di Venezia production

Ensemble Novecento of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Francesco Bossaglia conductor
Thanks to Francesco Bossaglia, Sergio Casesi, Giuliano Corti and Lucia Ronchetti for tutoring the projects up to their premiere performance.
In collaboration with Accademia di Santa Cecilia.

El sueño de Dalí en una noche de Picasso

El sueño de Dalí en una noche de Picasso is an opera in one act that takes its cue from a situation that may or may not have really happened – Dalí’s visit to Guernica while the painting was on exhibit in New York –, which made the painter, in a dream, confront his genius, his fears, his contradictions, and his shame. The plot was written after careful study of the historical documents related to the life of Salvador Dalí: biographies, writings and statements by Dalí himself as well as Ian Gibson’s book about the love that could never be between the painter from Cadaqués and the poet Federico García Lorca. Following an analysis of this information, the concept of the dream was chosen to represent imaginary situations that lead to considerations about Dalí’s personality. It is a Surrealist opera, which pays tribute to one of the founding artists of Surrealism. In this work, Dalí will have a dream that could turn into a nightmare and will meet key figures in his life story: the painter and universal artist Pablo Picasso, the playwright and poet Federico García Lorca and Gala, Dalí’s companion and muse. With each of them he will experience feelings mixed with emotions that will range from drama to comedy in a surreal dimension. Dalí must choose between love and art or celebrity and money. He will be forced to choose the only true love of his life.

Rodi, rodi! Morsicchia! La casina chi rosicchia?

What happens when we follow our instincts without considering the consequences, without thinking of other people’s needs? What happens when we let ourselves be overcome by greed? What happens when we don’t teach ourselves self-control?
A man alone sits in his living room, bored. This is a man who is probably used to having everything, to consuming everything, to devouring everything without questioning the consequences on his own lifestyle. He is seeking yet another stimulus or perhaps some hope for company in the television set he is watching. He switches channels compulsively but in the end, not having found anything that satisfies, he turns the television off. To snap out of his sluggishness and boredom, he decides to pick up a book at random, a gesture he has not made in years. He opens a page and begins to read the finale of the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel by the brothers Grimm, the very fairy tale that just a few seconds earlier had persecuted and bored him as he was zapping through the channels, from a movie to a soap opera to a reality show where two of the participants were ready do to anything to get on the show, and when they succeeded their lives looked caged... And that is what happens to Hansel and Gretel, who are enchanted by the gingerbread house and so tear into it with utmost gluttony, and when the witch who lives there asks: “Nibble nibble little mouse! Who is nibbling at my house?”, they blame it on the wind and continue eating, without worrying at all that they are destroying the house of this witch, who will later trap them. Just a coincidence? And is it also a coincidence that he turns off the television and finds the book open to the exact page that tells how Hansel and Gretel, using their resourcefulness and recovering their self-control, were able to escape from the witch and come back home laden with gifts? Or did that lonely man finally achieve awareness, and in his boredom, faced with the decadence of global communication, choose to go back to the origins of language, literature and theatre?


Five floating forms (frames) made of different materials delineate the boundary between stage and not-stage. The two actor singers (soprano and tenor) change into different characters depending on the form – and hence on the sounds associated with it – that they step out of as they come on stage, and each experiences his own drama interacting in a chain of missed relationships. Scarterìn Les BonBon, pure and infantile, wishes to be eaten, and offers her candy to anyone, in a desperate impossibility to communicate; then, every once in a while, jumping merrily into another frame, she becomes Losünge Bildmage (and vice-versa), searching for walls that she will never find on which to definitively hang her own form. Plufghig Lucht, who wishes to dance with light, looks for a plug for her lamp. Unsuccessful in her endeavour, she sometimes occupies the space of Strippy Sox (and vice-versa), whose obsession with opening a drawer to take out her beloved striped socks inevitably ends in a furious rotation of the arm she decides to use.
The four characters are identified and distinguished musically and linguistically, and intersect in playful exchanges. They sometimes forget, in their cheerful but difficult encounters, which is the stage and which the not-stage; they sometimes come back on stage to correct themselves; they attempt to communicate in a semi-grammelot that has common roots but is multifaceted in a way that makes it impossible for them to share their own drama with the others. Deus ex machina, the third actor-singer – the one who from the very beginning entered and exited the scenes, grumbling as he waited to be called in – finally comes out on stage to provide the solution that will bring them all together... And as he reveals the existence of the tristrophe to be sung as the specific musical element and imaginative practice of Gregorian chant that will solve everything, he plunges into the dramatic abyss of impossible resolution. Thus, in his determination to make order, he realizes there is no one left...


The opera is conceived as a black comedy centred on the theme of the enemy and the dualism between opposite but equally aberrant modes of obsession with power. Push! looks with a comic eye on the battle between two world superpowers incarnated by their respective leaders: in a play of mirrors, the protagonists attract and repel each other like the poles of a gigantic magnet that, in a most inconsiderate way, hangs over the destiny of the entire world.
The grotesqueness of the work arises from the rift between the social and political role of the two main characters and their absolute human pettiness and lack of substance, generating situations of almost absurd comedy amplified by a musical dramaturgy that alternates moments of gravitas with surreal situations. The two world leaders, Black and White, each of them locked in their own situation room, assess their options for a definitive resolution to the eternal conflict that pits them one against the other. The first part of the opera is characterized both visually and musically by a clear separation between the two protagonists who dialogue (or rather, monologue) from a distance, to convince themselves of the need to press that red button, the real inanimate protagonist of the entire opera. This sort of unconscious self-analysis clarifies that neither of the two would have any further reason to exist without the threat that the other represents. They are both aware of this fact but neither of them is willing to admit it and this is what drives them to seek direct contact with the enemy. The outcome will predictably be bad. The attempt at a dialogue will founder miserably, bringing the opera to its climax: the act of pressing the button. But this moment is merely the prelude to the final revelation: Black and White are actually patients in a psychiatric ward and the button serves merely to summon the nurses. The only female figure in the opera is the Doctor, the director of the Hospital, who in the epilogue has resigned herself to the fact that the two patients are incurable.

Teatro Piccolo Arsenale

30122 VENICE
TEL. +39 0415218711

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