The long night of temptation: Die, my love! and Two dozen red roses

by Aldo De Benedetti

The two plays that we are presenting together under the title La lunganotte della tentazione are Due dozzine di rose scarlatte and Muori, amore mio! Due dozzine di rose scarlatte is undoubtedly De Benedetti’s best-known stage play, whose title has become a catch phrase in Italian, an honor granted to few other titles of theatrical and literary works.Muori, amore mio! on the other hand has never been performed in Italy. De Benedetti’s comedies, and these two are no exception, turn predominantly on one theme, the encounter with temptation, something that comes at a key moment in people’s lives.

 

Muori, amore mio! is a fable, written toward the end of his life, a time when artists, now masters of their art, delight in saying what they have to say simply, concisely and playfully (a phenomenon evident in painting, for example). Due dozzine di rose scarlatte is a comedy written by the author in his forties and is handled in the manner you would expect of an adult.

Through Muori, amore mio! echo fundamental themes, narrated with a light touch and with the apparently childish tone of fairy stories, which are the generators of endless other stories. It is an archetype. Due dozzine di rose scarlatte is one of the infinite possible stories that derive from it. Put in cinematic terms, a zooming in on one of the possibilities. This is why I have brought them together.