by Dante Alighieri
direction Eimuntas Nekrošius
set design Marius Nekrošius
costumes Nadežda Gultiajeva
original music Andrius Mamontovas
with Rolandas Kazlas, Vaidas Vilius, Darius Petrovskis, Simonas Dovidauskas, Marija Petravičiūté, Beata Tiškevič, Julija Šatkauskaité, Ieva Triškauskaité, Milda Noreikaité, Pijus Ganusauskas, Vygandas Vadeiša, Paulius Markevičius, Audronis Rūkas, Remigijus Vilkaitis
Meno Fortas Company
in co-production with Stanislavsky Foundation, Mosca, Baltic House Festival of Saint Petersburg and Lithuanian National Theatre
in collaboration with Teatro Pubblico Pugliese, Ministero della Cultura Lituano, Aldo Miguel Grompone, Roma
international managment Aldo Miguel Grompone
Running time 4h
Played in Lithuanian with Italian subtitles
This year, Eimuntas Nekrošius, worldwide known lithuanian director, presents Divina Commedia, just a few days after its world premiere in Brindisi.
It is a tribute to italian culture, starring actors from his own company Meno Fortas as well as young but brilliant actors from the school he directs in Vilnius. “The Divine Comedy is like a deep lake”, Nekrošius says, “inexhaustible source of wisdom and poetry. To convey through human language and theatrical devices Dante's masterpiece, that is almost impossible but a keen temptation for me".
Nekrošius approaches the text considering it as a fascinating and valuable treasure house of images. Basically, he has decided to stage the first two parts, Inferno and Purgatorio. The director focuses his attention on the two main figures, Dante and Virgilio, as the actors show a great scenic talent and the set, created by Marius Nekrošius, has a great metaphorical force.
Nekrošius has always taken into great consideration the importance of the scenery since, thanks to its evocative power, it enables the spectators to overcome the linguistic aspect and abandon themselves to the images, gestures, sounds and music that are considered an integral part of the show.
The director understands the plot as a friendship, a path undertaken out of love: a few simple elements characterize both the theatrical dramatization and the scene, producing a piece of work of considerable lyrical and metaphorical value.
The actors step into the stage from a black backdrop and interpret some of the most famous cantos from the Inferno and the Purgatorio, with background music like Let it be by Beatles and some Bach's sonatas.
Some of the most crucial points are: the first canto of the Inferno, when Dante meets Virgil, his guide until the entrance of the Paradise; the encounter with the souls of the Limbo, among which are included the ones of Homer, Seneca and Ovid; the circle of suicides, turned into trees, whose letters Dante will deliver to the still living.
However, as the public of Modena already knows since it has already had the pleasure to see some of Nekrošius' works, the director really proves his talent in love scenes. Beatrice patters on Dante's heart, Francesca trembles with passion while Paolo remains mute.
The Divine Comedy, a poem of individual growth, becomes the epic of a proud hero that will find humbleness only when faced with pain and punishment. “It is a universal oeuvre”, Nekrošius states, “poets and writers quote it, it is an essential base for the youth, a true support in real life”. Don't miss this trip in the fervent imagination of one of the masters of international theatre.
Eimuntas Nekrošius was born in 1952. He graduates from the Lunacharski Institute of Theatre Art in Moscow (1978). From 1978 to 1979, he works at the State Youth Theatre in Vilnius; from 1979 to 1980 he works at Kaunas Drama Theatre. Since 1980 he returns to the State Youth Theatre in Vilnius, where he works on the following performances: The Square by Yeliseyeva (1981), Love and Death in Verona by Antanėlis and Geda (1982), Pirosmani, Pirosmani, A Day Longer Than a Hundred Years by Aitmatov (1983), Uncle Vanya by Chekhov (1986) and The Nose by Gogol (1991). All his productions won different prizes at theatre festivals in Lithuania and in Baltic States, while successfully participating in many international theatre festivals. Nekrošius is also a winner of numerous official awards in the field of arts. From 1991 to 1997, Nekrošius was in charge of the Lithuanian International Theatre Festival LIFE. In this period, he realizes Mozart and Salieri, Don Juan, Plague by Pushkin (1994), Three Sisters by Chekhov (1995) and Love and Death in Verona (1996).
In 1994, Nekrošius received a special prize from the Lithuanian Theatre Union as Director of the Year, as well as an award from the Baltic Assembly for Mozart and Salieri, Don Juan, Plague as best theatre performances of the Baltics. In the same year the European Theatre Union and Taormina Arts Committee (Italy) awarded Eimuntas Nekrošius a prize of the New European Theatre Realities. In 1997, Nekrošius created one of his most successful productions, Shakespeare’s Hamlet, that was staged in nearly all the most important European theatre festivals receiving numerous awards. Since 1998 Nekrošius has been working as artistic director of the theatre studio “Meno fortas”, established in the same year. In 1999 he directed Shakespeare’s Macbeth. In 2003, he works on The Seasons, a new piece of work based on the epic poem by Lithuanian writer Kristijonas Donelaitis. In the same year, Nekrošius received the annual award of the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture as Director of the year (for The Seasons), and the Golden Mask award from the Russian International Theatre Festival as best foreign theatre production. The year 2008 is rich in new productions: Anna Karenina staged for Emilia Romagna Teatro (Modena) and The Legend of Invisible city of Kitez, staged at both Teatro Lirico in Cagliari and Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. In 2011, Eimuntas Nekrošius directs Caligula at Theatre of Nations (Moscow) and Othello by Verdi at the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre.