Henri Beyle, Milanese

for Stendhal

a reading-concert for the bicentenary of Stendhal’s arrival in Italy

In 1800 the 17-year-old Stendhal, traveling with Napoleon’s army, crossed the Great St. Bernard Pass and arrived for the first time in Italy, and in particular Milan, destined to become his adopted hometown. It was then that he fell in love forever with our country, with its landscapes, its language, its dialects and its music. He would return to Milan and spend successive periods there up until 1821.

The Teatro Arsenale company proposes a theatrical version of Stendhal’s writings, accompanied on the piano by rare pieces of music by Cimarosa, the poet’s favorite composer, and others by Sandro Gorli, a contemporary Lombard composer.

The sources are: the Life of Henry Brulard, written in 1835-36; The Charterhouse of Parma, 1838; Rome, Naples et Florence, 1817-27; the Journal, 1801-17.

The purpose of the production is to get to know better this author, about whom much is said but who is little read owing to the scarcity of modern editions of his work. It will reveal a passionate, witty, sophisticated and profound man, sincerely in love with our country. And, at the same time, it will offer a vivid glimpse of life in 19th-century Milan.

commissioned by Biblioteca di Via Senato for “Libri in scena” 1999