Ariosto in academy the Orlando by Cocciardo

orlando“Of loves and ladies, knights and arms, I sing”

The rhetorical chiasmus, as a trio marked by the cross of four brushstrokes, opens and synthesizes the Orlando Furioso by Ariosto. Made up with a grid of eighth of hendecasyllabic metre, the chivalrous poem is divided into a whirlwind of people, events, feelings that crowd, jostle, and alternate. Think of the paintings or the Renaissance tapestries depicting the epic battles of Pavia, Roncesvalles, and San Roman. Artists such as Paolo Uccello, Ruprecht Heller, where they wrap like waves, theories of shapes and colors (bodies twisting convulsively, armor, muscles warriors and horses) divided by long rows of lances that mount a scaffold made of geometric correspondences between straight, drive shafts, beams with diameters of voltages. It is a biblical crush of men and beasts that is impossible to enumerate and distinguish immediately in detail but which it works as a perfect mechanism.

The artist organizes in the “figure” the pictorial material in a structure of complex geometric and color balances that harmonize energy and sign weights, of the shape and color to create an artistically living organism, pulsating. The art of the writer-poet builds a cathedral of significant words and sounds with a semantic and architectural construction, words, forged by the refined style, tell stories of humanity made so above all beauty, feelings, and values.

“Singing”, almost “reciting singing” of Ariosto is like the “composing” of the musician who must solve stylistically and formally a madrigal complex where the voices (contents) align, intersect, and contrast. The same voices that juxtaposed in a dense counterpoint to articulate in a more organic and consistent manner, respect the laws of the harmonic coexistence of sounds which become the warp and weft of a living tissue. Ariosto identifies a code of linguistic expression and becomes masterful musician in the scanning of the word, in the articulation of the phrasing, in the skilful use of pauses, sequences and cadences as the interplay of the various ideas and themes. He combines the real and the fantastic dimension, in the entrelacement (plot), galvanizing all these elements in a manner that respect the needs of the unity of the composition so that such a rich and dense story, magically, flows fluid like the roll of a film that unfolds in sequences, cuts, shooting, references, hooks.
The questio
n is identify the position of a great literary work seen like a stage adaptation, a textual exegesis showed in 2 hours of representation by young students that can just compare it to the poem of Orlando Furioso without fear of profaning it. How can we preserve the contextualization of the narrative, produce the squeal of otherness epochal or simply at least reduce it to a comedy?
Fortunately, such a poem is pure music that needs to be interpreted by the voice, because it is the sound of the animated word that causes the origination of feelings and emotions. It acts as a repeater of the climax, evoking places, events, characters, the scene, and this need to report directly spoken to pure acting.
The adaptation respects the reasons and the nature of a theatrical performance trying to grasp the profound essence of Ariosto message. It evokes the literary work through its shadows, alluding to poetry, quoting but integrating it with the recitation of a prose that, in summary, does not fail to emphasize the strength of the emotional impulses. It separates the laudatory and celebratory hand, the Este logo of Ferrara’s house (former sponsors in Italy in the courts) wriggling on chivalry component that becomes an evanescent fragrance and leaving weapons and war behind the seabed like a hologram that is perceived not materialize. In short, bringing up the themes of love and madness, arising from the inexhaustible source of desire, burning as strong thirst, which are the leitmotif, the words key to this poem. Acute and vigilant in warning as the friction between the vicissitudes also produce a sprout of lively humor and irony, Cocciardo catches them and develops them as grafts but not pretentious allusions to our contemporaneity.
Besides the irony is a spice that flavors the literary work but here is regenerated in a timely and insightful adaptation. However telling of “women, knights, arms and love” to our days when men do not even military service and flirt virtually on Fb or Whatsapp is the true epic quest!
What can we salvage of this work that can be captured by the sensitivity and contemporary feelings where madness certainly still exists but it manifests itself in family killings in femicide, where knightly combats consume outside the discos, where the military ventures between Moors and Christians become the problem of immigration and the intolerance or the threat of Islamic terrorism?
How can we associate ideally Durlindana, Orlando’s sword, which was always a phallic symbol and (inverted) Christian, with the last Iphone7 replacing it unworthily, and Angelica with the “photoshopped” image of Belén and even explain the madness instead today explodes on Saturday night triggered by a pill? A dreamer like Cocciardo, who wants to celebrate with the Academy students of acting the Ariosto’s masterpiece, has to extract from the chivalrous eighth of old grandfather Ludovico those universal feelings that still remaining in the soul of modern man. As Calvino quotes: “a classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say”.
Resurrecting the purity of madness and love bringing them back to life after a decompression is magic of adaptation and direction. It is magic of the soul still uncontacted of these crazy young in love of the theater chasing shadows and scents of a dream; that, by engaging in an unreal story, find themselves, a reality that seemed lost.

 BY TERESA COPPA

 

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