Massimo Theatre in Palermo | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/PRESS OFFICE
Massimo Theatre in Palermo | Photo: ARCHIVE/ANSA/PRESS OFFICE

An opera titled "Winter Journey" tells the story of a migrant who leaves his family in Africa to board one of the many boats from Libya to follow his dream of working in Europe and sending money back home.

The new opera titled "Winter Journey" had its world premiere in Palermo on the island of Sicily. It recounts the story of a migrant who has to leave his family in a war-torn African country behind.

Commissioned by the Massimo Theatre in Palermo, the opera was written by Ludovico Einaudi and Colm Toibin and directed by Roberto Andò.

The production is loosely inspired by Franz Schubert's "Winterreise," which also served as the basis for the title.

A city of culture and of cultures

Italian theaters are gradually returning to the age-old practice of commissioning works directly from playwrights. For writers Ludovico Einaudi and Colm Toibin, it was a first to have a theater approach them directly.

Massimo Theatre superintendent Francesco Giambrone said the theater chose the topic of the opera to celebrate "Palermo as a city of welcoming and emphasize attention on the contemporary language of the stage."

Ludovico Einaudi meanwhile stressed that the music in the opera is a mix of different traditions, not focusing on any particular style or school. The singers are not classically trained tenors nor sopranos either, but rather African performes who speak and sing in their own national languages, while the rest of the show takes place in English. The main characters are played by Badara Seck from Senegal and Rokia Traoré from Mali.

The show will be performed through October 8. 
 

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