adaptation Martina Folena
tutor Antonio Latella and Linda Dalisi
director assistant Martina Folena
director Antonio Latella
characters and interpreters
Phere Giuliana Vigogna
Apollo Gianpaolo Pasqualino
Oreste Christian La Rosa
Clytemnestra Ilaria Matilde Vigna
Choir Erinni Isacco Venturini and Alessandro Bay Rossi
Athena Barbara Mattavelli
Pilade Andrea Sorrentino
Tantalus (forefather) Isacco Venturini
Agamemnon Leonardo Lidi
the Moire Alessandro Bay Rossi
Tantalus and Plistene (Thyestes’s sons) Isacco Venturini and Alessandro Bay Rossi
Menelaus Ludovico Fedegni
Helen Barbara Chichiarelli
Elettra Marta Cortellazzo Wiel
and with Mariasilvia Greco, Alexis Aliosha Massine, Federica Rosellini, Emanuele Turetta
project playwrights Federico Bellini and Linda Dalisi
production Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione
with the support of Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena
Played in Italian with English subtitles
in the frame of the project “At the Prospero’s School. Actors in the global net”
Look, Orestes, and look me in the eye,
Give yourself over to the bonds I will tie;
Let them bite through your skin, cut you to quick,
A feast shall I make of all your blood thick;
Give way, for now this great pain will arrive,
And burn hotter than mortal flesh can contrive;
Passing time does not care nor shed any tears,
Time is damnation when hounded by fears.
I will offer you flight on wings unbound,
But first you must come with me, underground.
Orestes killed his mother and her lover, was sentenced to death by his hometown, he attempted a coup d’état, kidnapped his cousin and threatened to set fire to the palace. We join him now with flies in the brain, lost in a dream world. Eumenides means “the kindly ones”. It is the name used by the goddess Athena with which to rename the Furies, those terrible ancestral creatures devoted to the vengeance of family murders and soothed only by the promise of being worshiped in the city of Athens. Aeschylus wrote Eumenides, the final chapter of the Oresteia trilogy, as a warning to the city of Athens shaken by political upheaval. It was necessary for the up and coming political class to create a new balance by assimilating the ancient traditions into contemporary society.
In all this, Orestes, the matricide, remained mute, daunted and at the mercy of the gods. It is in his point of view that we wanted to immerse ourselves in when rewriting Eumenides.
God’s punishment is a self-willed delusion, an ordeal that Orestes has to go through to become a man. “Pathei Mathos” Aeschylus writes – knowledge through pain. The Furies’ nature is undeniable, but they are considered a benevolent force because they force their victims to face their pain and to accept it within themselves. Their gift is a consciousness that brings freedom.
In his Notes for an African Oresteia, Pasolini defines the Furies as, “the dream goddesses”. The realm of dreams is the meeting place of all the ghosts that populate Argo Palace, built on the bones of the two children that Atreus the patriarch killed and served as a feast to their father. Orestes is the last heir of the curse of Atreus. Blood calls for blood, the original sentence which has so far ruled over everything, including Orestes’ life. To free himself, Orestes must face his own monsters from where he had nurtured them for years, in the world of dreams.
The text of Aeschylus becomes the starting point for an entirely different destination. Through a rewrite in verse, in part faithful to the original and partly pure invention, this journey into the world of dreams will lead to Orestes far beyond the limits that the hero of the ancient world had to endure. The movement past the pain will lead to much greater awareness, pushing it to a new coup d’état, this time against us.