London, today – ITALy in the headlines!
Released in worldwide bookstores O ITALIA! Ora e sempre, the new opera libretto by Lin Clayton.
The Covent Garden author, who lives between London and Milan, is bringing the life of the young Giuseppe Garibaldi to the stage in an adventure of humour and tragedy in the tradition of grand opera.
Miss Clayton, welcome to Agoravox. Your opera libretto is about a little-known Garibaldi, among other discoveries is that he was of French nationality, which will surprise readers, and that we first meet him in the shady alleyways of a distant seaport among ladies of the night. Tell us about that.
O ITALIA! recounts the ardour of the young Garibaldi, captain in the Merchant Navy, who is about to live the events that will shape his destiny. The story begins with an amusing encounter between the captain and Olga and Avdotia, two Russian prostitutes who try to persuade him to avail himself of their services. Garibaldi, however, is enchanted by the beautiful Nina, a young woman selling chamomiles. He will discover that she is a countess who has been excluded from the court of the Romanovs and who now seeks revenge. There follows a story of love and tragedy in the grand opera tradition.
These days, to write an opera is an original idea. What inspired you to choose this form of narration?
Three years ago, in Northumberland Avenue, in London, at a dinner with friends, we were speaking about the beauty of opera houses around the world when I joked, "It would be easier to write an opera than to have tickets for the opening night of La Scala!" Returning home, my curiosity piqued, I searched the Internet for How to write an opera. The response was clear: Opera exists in all languages but the language of opera is Italian. What a challenge! It was a turning point in my life. In that moment I decided to learn Italian in order to write an opera. It was this passion that gave life to O ITALIA! Ora e sempre.
Tell my readers about the cover of the libretto. It seems very interesting.
The cover represents Italy in the times of the opera. In 1833 Italy was not a unified nation but was divided into numerous warring kingdoms. Mazzini dreamed of an Italian Republic.
Before closing, would you give us an excerpt from the libretto?
As we began by speaking about Garibaldi and the two ladies of the night, let me give you their amusing meeting.