OHT keeps researching on the ambiguous relationship between mankind and the Alpine landscape, confronting its artistic research with the tragic origin of theatre for the first time.

On July 19, 1985 a whitish avalanche of mud and dust swamps the Val di Stava in Trentino: a whole Alpine landscape is completely swept away. Trees, houses, people, animals, bridges, roads and even the possibility of representing the avalanche is swept away because there has been no catharsis in this tragedy. The only thing left by the avalanche is the spectre of a tragic chorus singing the requiem Lux Aeterna by Ligeti while a cloud of light invades the stage: a literal image of György Sándor Ligeti's musical ascesis as well as an evocation of the destruction caused by the avalanche. The inescapable light reveals to the spectator the friability of the Alpine landscape and shapes the hybris of the men who caused the avalanche. The musical canons of Ligeti's piece are modulated in different rhythms and times, creating a very dense upward motion that transforms the requiem into a sort of amorphous soundy cloud similar to the dust caused by the avalanche of Stava.

The fragility of the Alpine landscape is manifested in the sound of a dusty mass of light that pushes the show to the tragic essence of theatre; the choir. A collective actor, is the emotional and telluric spectrum of the show. The choir evokes the avalanche without representing it. If in the Greek tragedy the human hybris is declined towards the divine, in 19 JULY 1985 it is accomplished towards the Alpine landscape.

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The absence of catharsis in Stava tragedy has transformed the avalanche into sound and light. 19 JULY 1985 does not shape a narrative but cause a devastating cumulative visual effect that strikes the viewer. A series of moving backdrops gradually take possession of the onlookers, infecting them with a series of evanescent and silent images. An inexorable accumulation that shows the political nuances of OHT's research and the crumbling of the Alpine landscape hit by the avalanche shock wave.

György Sándor Ligeti 
Born on 28.V.1923 in Transylvania, he died on 12.VI.2006 in Vienna. He was a fundamental composer in avant-garde music for the development of tonal color and mass movement of sound. Most of Ligeti's music after the end of the 1950s involves radically new approaches to music composition. Intervals, rhythms and musical harmonies are often indistinguishable but act together in a multiplicity of sound events creating music that can communicate serenity as well as a dynamic and distressing movement. Examples of these effects can be found in Atmosphères (1961) for orchestra; Requiem (1963-65) for soprano, mezzo-soprano, two choirs and orchestra; and Lux Aeterna (1966) for choir. Ligeti has received numerous awards, including the Großer Österreichischer Staatspreis (1990), the Praemium Imperiale award for music from the Japan Art Association (1991) and the Theodor W. Adorno Prize from the city of Frankfurt for outstanding musical achievements (2003).

Lux Aeterna original lyrics
Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine, / Eternal light shine upon them, O Lord,
cum sanctis tuis in aeternum, quia pius es. / with your saints in eternity, for you are merciful.
Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine; / Grant them eternal rest, O Lord;
et lux perpetua luceat eis. / and may the eternal light shine upon them.

Val di Stava Disaster
It was a mudflood that occurred at 12:22:55 on July 19, 1985 in Val di Stava in Trentino (IT). The avalanche was caused by the collapse of the banks of the sedimentation basins of the Prestavel mine, which caused the leakage of about 180,000 m³ of mud that violently overwhelmed the village of Stava at a speed of about 90Km/h for a journey of almost 4.2Km. Hundreds of trees, 03 hotels, 53 houses, 06 sheds and 08 bridges were destroyed. 268 people died, 28 of whom were children under 10 years of age, 31 were kids under 18 years of age, 120 were women and 89 were men. In more than 20 years of activity prior to the catastrophe, the landfills were never subjected to serious stability checks by the concessionary companies or to controls by the public offices of the Autonomous Province of Trento, which had the obligation of control. The Ministerial Commission of Inquiry ascertained that "the entire sedimentation plant constituted a continuous threat looming over the valley. The plant collapsed essentially because it was designed, built and managed in such a way as not to offer those safety margins that civil society expects from works that could jeopardise the existence of entire human communities.”



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Alpine tragedy


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19 JULY 1985
an Alpine tragedy

> performance by OHT | Office for a Human Theatre

> “Lux Aeterna” by György Sándor Ligeti
> “Again – after ecclesiastes” by David Lang
> “ndormenzete popin” Mountain chant
> chorus / Ensemble Vocale Continuum
master of chorus Luigi Azzolini

> directing, set-design and text Filippo Andreatta
> dramaturgy Marco Bernardi
> coripheus, music and sound Davide Tomat
> set-design and construction Alberto Favretto
> light-design William Trentini
> chief technician Viviana Rella
> best-girl Letizia Paternieri
> assistent director Veronica Franchi
> video Armin Ferrari
> producer and administrator Laura Marinelli
> promotion and curating Laura Artoni
> expert gardener Cleto Matteotti
> Electronic development and automation Enrico Wiltch
> animal spirit the Deer

> production OHT
> co-production Romaeuropa Festival, Centro Santa Chiara Trento
> artistic residency Centrale Fies art work space
> supported by Fondazione Caritro, Provincia Autonoma di Trento
> under the patronage of Fondazione Stava 1985

> thanks to Bruno Ballardini, Michele Longo, Matthias Losek, Susanna Sara Mandice, Sandro Piovesana, Virginia Sommadossi, Chiara Zanoni and the woodman

production history

07.XI.2019 Trento, Teatro Sociale – premiere
08-09-10.XI.2019 > Trento, Teatro Sociale
2020 Roma, Romaeuropa Festival

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