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Libretto and stage direction by Stefano Simone Pintor

"The libretto created by Stefano Simone Pintor, also responsible for the direction, has the undoubted merit of marrying perfectly with the score, accompanying the audience with magnetism through the story, thanks to a skillful use, all theatrical, of the characterization of the characters and their actions."
Silvia Campana, L'Opera International Magazine, 01.12.2019

Opera in one act on a libretto by Stefano Simone Pintor
Freely based on the homonymous tale by Nikolaj Vasil'evič Gogol'

Musical direction Diego Ceretta
Stage direction Stefano Simone Pintor
Set and costume design Mariangela Mazzeo
Lighting design Marco Alba

Ocsana/The Czarina Floriana Cicio
Soloca Aloisa Aisemberg
Nikolaj Raffaele Feo
The Devil Daniel Kim Sunggyeul

Ensemble Teatro dell'Opera Giocosa
Children's choir Fondazione Teatro Comunale of Modena

Co-production Teatro dell'Opera Giocosa of Savona & Fondazione Teatro Comunale of Modena

The story is set in our time, on Christmas Day, in a small town in the industrial province of an undefined location, where the loving poetry of Christmas of a bygone rural simplicity is disfigured by its modern consumerist vision. Ever since the Devil stole the moon from the poor simple suburb, its main square has been transformed into a shopping mall and the population begins to live desiring only material goods. Years later, Ocsana, the most beautiful and richest girl in the country, makes fun of Nikolaj, a poor delivery boy in love with her, offering to marry him if he brings her a special gift: the shoes of the last Tsarina of Russia. Thus begins the desperate journey of Nikolaj who, in an attempt to win the heart of his beloved, gives his soul to the Devil and goes back in time to retrieve the much desired shoes.

"Gogol' offers a shrewd criticism of society through a visionary and fantastic style" - explain the authors of the work - "If in the original narration the desolating human mediocrity emerges above all in some of the side characters, in our theatrical transposition this aspect is entrusted to the places and time inhabited by the protagonists. In order for our staging not to turn into a mere exercise in history for 21st century spectators, the challenge was to make Gogol's satirical depiction of his own time credible and recognizable even today. That's why we thought it would be useful to update the context, creating a direct link with the modern world in order to stimulate active participation of the audience, thus enabling them to identify with the characters and recognize themselves in the same problems. The province of the Ukrainian countryside has become a modern industrial province, poor, grey and polluted like many other provinces of the globalized world. A province where children and adults do not stop dreaming and living Christmas, but where the spirit of celebration, the time of spiritual aggregation, suddenly disappeared, replaced by the desire for material possession and the time of economy."

Foto: Rolando Guerzoni e Luigi Cerati
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