As I was reading ”Italy breaks your heart” written by Frank Bruni for the NYT, anger and pain kept growing in my heart. Anger because I am Italian by birth and culture, and pain because I often feel so helpless facing the decline of Italy. I would want to do something, but I don’t know how. I’m not a politician, just an artist.
I know that it is true – as Bruni writes – that all the world is “accustomed to Italians’ theatrical pessimism, to their talent for complaint.” But we italians – I thought – must do something to restart and reboot our nation. The situation will not get better if we do nothing to fix it.
Every italian is responsible for that, I thought while reading.
“Italy coasts on its phenomenal blessings rather than building on them and loses traction in a global economy with more driven competitors.” This phrase hurt me in such a very special way because I am an operatic artist (singer and director) and I see that people all over the world loves Opera – sadly, they often do so even more than Italians do. And nobody like operatic artists know that Opera is one of the greatest possible assets for a new Italian reinassance.
We Italians need a new reinassance to quit this serious crisis. And we need it now. And reading Bruni’s article, I thought that Italian directors, conductors and singers, performing Opera all over the world, are actually ambassadors of the Italian cultural heritage as a whole. Italy is Chianti, Uffizi, Rinascimento, Armani, Ferragamo, Pompei, Venice, Florence, Rome, the Alps, the shores and the sea, for sure… But it is Opera that travels overseas becoming a testimony to our history and to our distinguishing ancient cultural traditions, and it does so in the easiest possible way.
We italians need to start “building on our phenomenal blessings“, wrote Bruni, and everybody knows that our main blessings are: figurative arts, heritage sites, environment, fashion, design, food, crafts and music. Opera is one of the main resources of our national heritage because it includes most of the other blessings. So I thought that the more we invest on it, the more we would gain even in all the other sectors. As it usually happens in every other business.
So, the main question is: why don’t we reboot italy starting from Opera? It should be easily done. We only need to completely change the management of our Opera Houses and appoint skilled people who actually know about Opera as new managers, people who love it and respect such a fundamental italian “blessing”.
Rebuilding the nation beginning with Opera would inject optimism in all italians, instilling new hope for the future in everyone, and would also be a good and smart message to the rest of the world, still waiting for good news from our country. Italy rebooting and restarting through one of its most famous “blessings” would totally be “good news”, sparking the reboot in other economical fields as well.
That sounds like a good idea. We italians still have enough human resources, technical assets and artistic heritage to be able to start a new project immediately. So, let’s start from Opera, empowering knowledge, meritocracy and artistic quality. We are still capable of doing that. Well, then why don’t we just do that!
But first of all, please remove all the incompetent and harmful people from Italian Opera houses. They are still mismanaging a lot of them, keeping on damaging them, and damaging us all, day after day.
We Italians need a new, positive beginning, for real. Let’s just start from “our” Opera.
Gianluca Floris (with a little help from Giorgia. Thank you!!!!)