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With a cast of refugees Mozart’s Idomeneo plays at the Rome Opera Theatre

ROME, NOVEMBER 11TH- A version of Mozart’s Idomeneo in which the cast includes migrants and refugees is playing until November 16 at the Rome Opera Theatre. The initiative was jointly organized with the Community of Sant’Egidio Community, the lay Rome-based Catholic Ngo who is co-sponsoring the humanitarian corridors through which thousands of refugees from Lebanon were able to travel safely to Italy.


The orchestra – conducted by Michele Mariotti- and the production by Robert Carsen introduce the audience to an environment devastated by war, with destroyed cities, fences and a dark grey sea as the background. The migrants are a living symbol of the present-day drama: they represent ‘the won’ of Greek mythology, while on the other side are the ‘winners’, dressed in their military attire. On stage are 30 young men and women from Africa and the Middle East who have personally experienced landing into a different country, discrimination and search for peace.

Some have arrived to Italy by sea, having faced beforehand the perils of the desert and extreme suffering, others decided not to embark in the dangerous trip across the Mediterranean, having lost their friends at sea. Some had a different destiny and travelled safely thanks to the humanitarian corridors organized by Sant’Egidio with the Protestant Churches of Italy (FCEI) and the Waldensian Table.


The actors are at different stages of integration in Italy: some still await their status as refugees, whereas others are following courses to become cultural mediators. They shared their time during rehearsal and breaks, and faced -as young people- a completely new and fascinating reality, that of opera, learning to work professionally in the arts, Sant’Egidio explained. The show aims at helping dispose of the weapons of the conflict between cultures, represented by the large number of rifles on stage. “For the young migrants and for all of us, this Opera is a spectacular -but not fleeting- image of the possibility of living and working together, Italians and non Italians”, added the Italian Ngo. (SB@OnuItalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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