Cronaca di infinite scomparse
Opera in n variabili
Music Roberto Vetrano
Libretto Stefano Simone Pintor
Conductor Jacopo Rivani
Director Stefano Simone Pintor
Set and costume designer Gregorio Zurla
Light designer Fiammetta Baldiserri
Video designer Studio Antimateria
Orchestra I Pomeriggi Musicali
Choir condution Diego Maccagnola
Coproduction OperaLombardia theatres, Fondazione Haydn Bolzano and Trento,
Theater Magdeburg and Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía Valencia
Publisher Ed. Ricordi, Milano
Ettore Majorana Lucas Moreira Cardoso
Il Barbone Roberto Capaldo
La Cantante and Una Madre Alessandra Masini
Dio, il Generale and un Frate Pietro Toscano
La Fisica, la Studentessa and la Matriarca Federica Livi / Tiberia Monica Naghi
L’Antimajorana, il Comandante, il Fisico and il Fratello Ugo Tarquini
La particella ombra Davide Paciolla
The production was staged at the Teatro Sociale in Como, Teatro Sociale in Bergamo, Teatro Ponchielli in Cremona, Teatro Grande in Brescia, Teatro Fraschini in Pavia, Teatro Sociale in Trento in between September 2017 and January 2018
First prize @ Opera Oggi International Contest, promoted by OperaLombardia, Fondazione Haydn Stiftung Bolzano/Bozen, Theater Magdeburg and Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía Valencia
Palermo, 26th March 1938.
Ettore Majorana is going on board the ferry ‘Tirrenia’ for Naples departing on 10.30pm, on which he will be tracked no more.
While watching the sea waves, the calculated moment of his own disappearance arrives and Majorana thinks all the possible variations of his end and he is caught by a new stunning intuition: the Universe is circular.
In that same moment everything around him seems to start again. Therefore the young scientist finds himself to live the same boarding happened just before.
Majorana soon realizes to be blocked in a kind of limbo that takes him to live all the possible variables about his own end one after the other: suicide, escape, the choice of a street life, the retirement in a convent… Going on in this unusual journey, the young scientist sees more and more different coexisting states of himself and, like in a great nightmare, meets some people who influenced him the most: scientist colleagues, his mother and brother, one of his students and others.
Majorana then tries to overcome the traditional dualism between life and death, he theorises for himself unlimited intermediate states between being and not being. In that same moment a new figure appears, a sort of reflection of himself or alter ego: the Anti-Majorana.
Majorana can’t accept those absurd events and desperately declares to want the oblivion for himself only, but the Anti-Majorana shows him the inevitability of destiny: Majorana will not choose his own destiny, but rather who will seek him in the future and will develop theories about his disappearance, determining the destiny itself. Then the Anti-Majorana pushes him to the boarding moment again.
This time, at Palermo pier, the dockers give way to the countless Majoranas, as if the protagonist could witness his all possible destinies simultaneously, in a whirlwind crescendo that only ends when the two highest forces holding his world appear: God and Physics.
The two entities show Majorana his own theories in a new light, put him in front of his genius and exhort him to choose the eternal darkness of annihilation or the cosmic light of creation.
Majorana perceives infinity and goes through it.
Time comes back to 5th August 1906. On a desert pier, a mother is cradling her child by the sea. Sun rises.
What is the real meaning of lyric opera today? If it has been widely accepted that the 20th century brought humanity towards the concept of fragmentation, where is the 21st century leading us? Our own reply to these questions involved the idea of ”augmented reality”, both with a technological meaning and a more scientific one. In a world in which researches on quantum physics and technological progress took us far beyond a “classical”, physical everyday reality, in order to communicate with the modern opera audience we took the chance to compose an opera that included this essential aspect of our contemporaneity. All the choices we consequently made stemmed from this assumption, primarily the choice of the subject of our story: Ettore Majorana. Even though some may argue that Majorana lived a century ago and cannot be considered contemporary, he was a prophetical physicist for his time. Some of his studies on elementary particles, nuclear forces and antimatter are still in wide use today as the basis for modern studies.
As Enrico Fermi once put it, Majorana was a genius who had “a gift that no one else in the world had”. Such an important gift though had its negative counterweights: Majorana was not able to live and deal with other human beings and at the age of 31 he decided to disappear to “another dimension”. In March 1938, at night, he boarded a ferry from Palermo to Naples and he disappeared forever. His body was never found, triggering the famous “Majorana case”, which is still open today. As a consequence, choosing this brilliant physicist as a subject for our work means putting the accent on our contemporaneity, an era in which we are open to an infinite number of realities and dimensions. That is why we got inspired by Majorana’s mathematics itself and we chose a subject with “infinite components” that did not mean to tell a linear story but that gave a voice to all the probable or improbable endings that have been conceived about the life of the Sicilian physicist.
What we mean to stage is actually a “vertical tower” of more variables of the same event or episode, namely the death or disappearance of Majorana, in a performance in which space and time will constantly move: forward and backwards, in parallel and twisted realities, in dystopian futures and in anachronistic pasts. By doing this, we will remain open to all the infinite dimensions of our universe, since the principle of relativity tells us that there is not one privileged point of view in nature, be it spatial or temporal… So why should there be one for art?