Tchaikovsky - Reviews Stampa
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Sabato 23 Febbraio 2013 08:36


Not to Judge Tchaikovsky

by Giulia Bornacin

11 February 2014


Not considered talented enough to have a successful career in music, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky studied music as a child, and at the age of 22 studied at the St Petersburg Music Conservatory. He began his career as a composer, but was repeatedly interrupted by financial problems, depression, and especially by his fear of being exposed and prosecuted for his homosexuality, which was illegal in 19th century Russia.

Harris Freedman's play brings Tchaikovsky's emotional life to the stage: a precise portrait of the soul of a genius, irascibile, insecure, altruistic, extremely generous and sweet, and the effective lighting design (by Dario Aggioli) accentuates the complex and multi faceted inner life of Tchaikovsky.

Four actors, Carlo Greco, Gianluigi Pizzetti, Irma Ciaramella and Elizabeth Ventura, interpret eight of the most important people in the composer's life, and two musicians Giovanni Monti (piano and musical direction) and Marco Valabrega (violin) give life and an introspective to the story of one of the most performed and celebrated composers the world has ever known, and yet it also could be the story of any person today who is the victim of discrimination and injustice caused by homophobia. The drama in fact centers around the great dilemma never resolved: Did Tchaikovsky die of asiatic colera or did he take his own life because the Tsar forced him to choose between exile or suicide to avoid prosecution for sodomy?

Freedman does not provide a solution, but gives us a profound and informed starting point for reflection.

In scena alla Sala Orfeo del Teatro dell’Orologio, via dè Filippini, 17/a, Roma,  fino al 13 febbraio ore 21.


scritto e diretto da

Harris Freedman


Carlo Greco

Gianluca Pizzetti

Irma Ciaramella

Elisabetta Ventura

musiche dal vivo

Giovanni Monti

Marco Valabrega

disegno luci
Dario Aggioli

Movimenti coreografici

Lydia Biondi

Aiuto Regia

Giovanni MorassuttiTeresa Pascale


Cabiria D’Agostino


Gail Roberts Lydia Biondi


Elisabetta Nepitelli Alegiani

Produzione Neraonda –

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Tchaikovsky @ Teatro Millelire – Roma



– FEBBRAIO 17, 2013

On stage at Theatre Millilire is Tchaikovsky, written and directed by Harris W. Freedman: the atmosphere breathes the profound love for art and culture, and love for the music of the great Russian composer, whose life story is told through masterful flashbacks and indirect narrative.

Known throughout the world for his symphonies, the drama reveals Tchaikovsky’s human side, his inner life, his frustrations and weaknesses.   Probably Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and all of his most famous works would not have had the same appeal if they hadn't been the fruit of such a sad and troubled life.

The expert use of lights, a piano, a violin, and the music of the master played live in the background: in this atmosphere an ailing Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky enters and with difficulty reaches his chair in the centre of the stage.  The human dramma begins, he turns to the past, to his time at the conservatory, to his homosexuality, an offense at that time, to his marriage of convenience, his friendships, his pain.

Some of the scenes are represented on stage, others are presented indirectly through exchanges of letters between protagonists: the way the letters are presented is particularly effective through the expert use of lighting.

As if through a magnifying glass we see the emotions, the delicate contemporary theme of homosexuality: the story is not meant to be an homage, but rather an effort, masterfully done, to examine his essence.

Profound and delicate, Tchaikovsky, will be on stage until March 3, 2013.

Alessandra Greco

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colazione all’operà

Vota l'evento: 10,00
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Written and Directed by Harris W Freedman

With Carlo Greco, Gianluigi Pizzetti, Irma Ciaramella, Elisabetta Ventura
piano Giovanni Monti
violin Farfuri Nuredini


The very new and interesting Theatre Millelire, in Prati, resounds with the eternal song of the Swan.

The dizzying creative impulse remains a mystery, the will to cast nets into the unknown and work on form without any guarantee of success. “To explore the birth of genius, once one knows it is genius,” wrote Javier Marias, but first there is almost always torment, doubt, uncertainty in how to spend one's existence, the discomfort in espressing oneself openly, often there is a violent clash with a society that rarely has the capability to understand, the notorious majority. Behind the work of art there is a person, a life with light and shadow, built one day at time in contrasts. Banal, certainly, but always astonishing.

Harris W Freedman's pen has met Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky and has drawn a sketch of his soul. Not a small undertaking to distill the life of the Russian composer in a 90 minute play, from age 24 training at the conservatory until his death at only 53 years of age, in circumstances still debated – was it from cholera, which was the official version, or did he choose to take his own life to avoid a scandal that was about to esplode about his being a sodomist?   A life on a tightrope, in constant precarious equilibrium, in his intimate sphere, in his need for material things, for money, in addition to his esthetic pursuits.

Presented in the form of a staged reading at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London, the world premier of Tchaikovsky is taking place at Theatre Millilire.  A well-balanced play, in the sense that for every simple narrative choice, there is a corresponding perplexity.

The protagonist, Carlo Greco, is a prominent actor in Italy and incarnates the character with plausibility on stage: his appearance resembles Tchaikovsky's in the mind of the audience...The theme of hiding is prominent. Veiled homosexuality is finally revealed on stage, masturbation liberally discussed as well as the excitement inspired by young male students at the academy, with open arms, flexed wrists, bent knees and dancing like a woodland nymph. Often the movements in the scenes are proper dance, as befits a composer that reached the height of musical composition with classical ballet.

Ten characters are represented, a small number in regard to all of the people in Tchaikovsky’s life. The four actors took on the task and were noteworthy in how they changed their movements and vocal tones, in the lovely costumes made by Cabiria D’Agostino. One character, the inane and one-note Modya...impeccably interpreted by Gianluigi Pizzetti, contrasted with the figure of the widow von Meck, who for 12 years provided Tchaikovsky's principal economic support, a multi-faceted woman, tough in family confrontations, and extremely perceptive regarding the music composed by a man whom she met only a few times, although she was interwoven in a profound relationship with him as documented by the frequent letters they exchanged.

Finally, it was a brilliant idea to have live musical accompaniment, basically Tchaikovsky is a composer first and a character second. The pianist Giovanni Monti and the poignant violin of Farfuri Nuredini were powerfully evocative and harmonious during the course of the dialogue, too bad that frequently the music did not continue throughout the text. It was a taste that left one hungry for more.  However, these defects do not render Tchaikovsky vain in its complexity, there is truly a great deal of information transmitted, without any loss of lyrical moments of unquestionable value. It could be the result of the extraordinary persona of the author of Swan Lake, impossible to define in a few words, trying to please without revealing all of himself, an exceptional life, but held back, in a certain sense subdued, like “Winter Dreams”, the title of his first symphony.

The performances continue:
Teatro Millelire
via Ruggero di Lauria, 22 (via Candia) –
until Sunday 3 March
Tuesday to Saturday 21.00, Sunday 18.00
(1:30 minutes without an intermission)

Neraonda presents
Tchaikovsky – a drama with live music
Written and Directed by Harris W. Freedman
translation Gail Roberts, Lydia Biondi
with Carlo Greco, Gianluigi Pizzetti, Irma Ciaramella, Elisabetta Ventura
piano Giovanni Monti
violin Farfuri Nuredini
costumes Cabiria D'Agostino

dance coreography Lydia Biondi
Assistant Director Giovanni Morassutti

assistant to the Director Teresa Pascale
lighting designer Dario Aggioli
photographer Rafael Jeneral
Executive Producer Mariano Grimaldi
Organising producer Elisabetta Nepitelli Alegiani

Ultimo aggiornamento Martedì 17 Giugno 2014 17:04