Ten Years of Prima Diffusa

22.11.2021, by Giacomo Luperini

The so-called “Prima”, the opera which opens the season at the city’s Teatro alla Scala, is one of Milan’s great traditions. This year, on the day of St.Ambrose the patron saint of the city,for the first time in the presence of a live audience after shows were cancelled in December 2020, the classic “Macbeth” by Giuseppe Verdi will be performed under conductor maestro Riccardo Chailly.

For the past ten years, the “Prima” has gone hand in hand with the “Prima Diffusa” (the “Widespread Prima”), a massive cultural container promoted by Milan’s Culture Department in collaboration with Edison and with Ponderosa Music & Art as an executive producer, aiming to accompany the city from the start of December until the day of the performance at the Piermarini. This year, Prima Diffusa will be broadcast live (in collaboration with Rai TV) on 34 different screens set up around the city and beyond. Many highly significant places will be involved: from the theaters of the Beccaria juvenile correctional facility, to those of the San Vittore and Opera prisons, to the Enzo Jannacci homeless shelter in viale Ortles; from the Casa della Carità in via Brambillato to museums such as the Mudec and Wow Spazio Fumetto, and even at Malpensa airport.

No ticket, by the way, will be necessary, nor any kind of reservation; all broadcasts will be preceded by a “listening guide”, care of the Scala academy.

The same Accademia della Scala will curate the “Prima Diffusa”’s inaugural event: “Al castello di Macbeth” (“At Macbeth’s Castle”) is the title of the dramatized listening guide which will go onstage on December 1st at Castello Sforzesco, with the participation of musicology professor Fabio Sartorelli, and enriched by pieces performed by young actors and soloists from the lyrical finishing academy of the Scala.

Among the new elements of 2021 we will find the original show “Macbeth Unplugged” by Tournée da Bar starring Davide Lorenzo Palla and Irene Timpanaro, with a live musical accompaniment by Tiziano Cannas Aghedu, performed on three different evenings (from December 2nd to the 9th) at Santeria Paladini 8, at Spirit de Milan and at Mare Culturale Urbano. The drama, which theatrical professionals call “the Scottish play”, alternates comical, poetic and dramatic moments in which audiences are directly involved, while actors guide them through the secrets hidden between the lines of this great Shakespearean classic.

On December 2nd, the Cineteca Milano at the Museo Interattivo del Cinema in viale Fulvio Testi will host an operatic recital, featuring actor-singer Neri Marcorè, alongside soloists from the lyrical finishing academy of the Scala, performing a homage to the first operatic compositions by Giuseppe Verdi. On the same night, and in the very same venue, a cinematic show will center around “Macbeth and Other Shakespearean Titles”.

Finally, starting on December 3rd, at the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala branch located in via Santa Marta, an exhibition will be open to the public under the title “Accademia Aperta – Dieci anni di Prima Diffusa” (Open Academy – Ten Years of Prima Diffusa). The exhibition will retrace the most important phases of the festival from 2011 until the present day, through photographs, video collages, costumes and props. As part of the exhibition, visitors will be able to witness a hair and makeup demonstration that will help them feel closer to an operatic backstage.


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