In 1992, the deaths of Italian magistrates Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino were the climax of a dreadful period in modern Italian history, one that saw organized crime carry out systematic attacks against the state time and time again. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the killings of Falcone and Borsellino. Major Italian institutions have come together to give life to a project that involves young artists from a host of different backgrounds, as we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice and make sure that they are never forgotten.
L’eredità dei giusti (“The Legacy of the Righteous”), written and directed by Emanuela Giordano, with music by Marco Tutino, was commissioned by Teatro Regio Torino, Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa, Fondazione per la Cultura Torino – MITO SettembreMusica, and Teatro Massimo of Palermo. The premiere performance is slated for May 27 in Torino, with repeat performances on May 28 in Milano and July 19 in Palermo.
Casa Ricordi is proud to co-publish this new work, in conjunction with Suvini Zerboni. The effort is part of a longstanding tradition in Italian music publishing, which has always been a voice for civic engagement, and thanks to which stories of wrongdoing and denouncement of have played out on the world’s stages. From the challenges of censorship to the upholding of the highest ideals; from Giuseppe Verdi to Luigi Nono to Giorgio Battistelli, Olga Neuwirth and all those who, to this day, continue to recount life in contemporary society and all its contradictions.
As director Emanuela Giordano explains, “L’eredità dei giusti digs into the past and re-evokes Italy’s dismay when the country was confronted by the killings of Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino in 1992. The assassinations took place just weeks apart, and along with the magistrates, members of their escorts were also killed. Ten years earlier, again, in Palermo, the Mafia slayed General Carlo Alberto dalla Chiesa, his wife, and one of their bodyguards. The murders of Falcone and Borsellino served to underscore the Mafia’s commitment to challenging the authority of the state, in an outrageous show of violence. But those assassinations provoked an outpouring of public sentiment that the Mafia most likely never expected. All over Italy, huge crowds took to the streets, demanding justice. The so-called ‘code of silence’ of Sicily’s upper classes came under fire, unmasked by the events. It was now time to react and abandon all fear. It was time to be united.”
Unfortunately, it would be a long row to hoe. If today organized crime has abandoned such tactics, it has become no less dangerous. Indeed, the mob, or should we say mobs, have become ingrained in civil society, under a cloak of apparent respectability.
“L’eredità dei giusti is a troublesome legacy,” says composer Marco Tutino. “It forces us to realize that we can indeed fight back against and reject all the injustice, the violence, the abuse and the arrogance of the Mafia mindset and its culture of crime. Back in the day, Falcone and Borsellino asked us to do just that, and they keep urging us to do so every time we remember them, whether in public or in private. Don’t turn away, they would say, don’t lower your guard. No one can shirk that kind of responsibility, especially today, when it seems like we’re up against forces that are unassailable and invincible, whose strength is beyond measure, and all we have is our fragile and susceptible individual will. This story, conveyed by musical instruments, singing and spoken voices, is our way of reiterating the idea that we really can rebel, that we must never forget those who fought for all of us. In a complex and beautiful land, which gave rise to both the evils of organized crime and the grandeur of poetry, the depth of our commitment to justice is striking. This is a story of testimony and hope, amplified by music, which is not merely an ornament, but a true protagonist.”
Excerpt from Piccolo Teatro di Milano's program notes
Immagine di Marzia Caruso / Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti di Torino ©Teatro Regio Torino