For the first time, OHT deals with music theatre by taking inspiration from Arvo Pärt’s music and from an ambiguous relationship between man and nature. The story of the village of Curon / Graun in Alto Adige, completely submerged in water in 1950, is told according to different modalities, each of which corresponds to one version of Fratres; a composition without fixed instrumentation. Text and filmed images combined with live performance, involve the audience in an epiphanic and hypnotic event, where the bell tower of the church of the submerged village of Curon becomes the only protagonist on stage, by playing – for alliteration – the role of the bell in the piece Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten. In line with the political implications of the last OHT’s plays, this new theatre production depicts a drowned village, where the invisible forces of the alpine landscape can emerge vehemently through the sound of the bell – typical of Arvo Pärt’s tintinnabuli style.

Curon / Graun introduces the audience to a space without actors. The basis of the work is the sound of the bells and their spiritual strength due to the reconstruction of the submerged bell tower and by making the stage a literal metaphor for Arvo Pärt’s tintinnabuli style. The scene opens with the silence as point of no return of the Estonian composer, who thanks to six years of solitary contemplation could reach the essence of his music and what resounds deeply in people through art.

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The show starts with the ghost tolls of the bell tower of the church in order to link the spectator to a renewed narrative structure of music theatre. A slow narration, whose guidelines are not familiar and are part of the sacred things which the Estonian composer has already included in his works and which invite the audience to adopt new criteria compared to those generally accepted and known. In this way, the forced evacuation of the little town of Curon in 1950, becomes the literary device to resort to text and images as the only scene elements in the attempt to rediscover one of the most authentic features of theatre, i.e. the ability to communicate through immobility and silence.

Arvo Pärt
Arvo Pärt in an Estonian composer known for his sacred music. He was born on 11 September 1935 in Paide. Having initially studied dodecaphonic music, in 1971 Arvo Pärt entered a period of contemplative silence, during which he exclusively focused on the study of sacred music and Gregorian chant, in particularly the medieval and Renaissance period. After six years, in 1977 he broke the silence with a music genre that distinguishes him; the tintinnabuli, that is a sound similar to that of a bell. The most important works of these years are Tabula rasa, Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten, Spiegel im Spiegel and Fratres. Since that moment, Arvo Pärt has been regarded as one of the pioneers of the minimalism and holy minimalism, even though he never defined himself as minimalist, and his compositions fascinate the whole world. Several honours have been conferred on him, for example in December 2011 he was appointed a Member of the Pontifical Council for Culture by Pope Benedict XVI; in 2006, the University of Oxford elected him as Honorary Doctor of Music.

Curon / Graun
In 1950, the construction of a big dam jointed Lake Resia and Lake di Mezzo. As a result, 523 hectares of farmed land and 163 houses of the ancient village of Curon in Val Venosta were flooded. The company Montecatini, winner of the national announcement, created the biggest lake in Alto-Adige, 6 km long and 1 km wide, at the point of maximum width. The town’s residents protested against the dam construction, in a period of growing tension between local terrorists and the Italian government. A delegation from Sudtirol went unsuccessfully to Pope XII in order to prevent the creation of the work. The construction was inevitably and involved thousands of workers who dug 35 km of underground tunnels, used 1.500.000 quintal of cement, 10.000 tons of iron, 800 tons of explosives and for the fist time in Italy’s history, nitro-glycerine was used to blast the centre of Curon and partially that of Resia which were rebuilt in higher positions.



running time



music theatre


2018 UBU Prize nomination as best set-up


Sanbaradio > La rifrazione del silenzio, 05.IV.2023
Antinomie > Curon/Graun decostruzione di un'immagine, 11.III.2020

PAC > La memoria del campanile, 10.II.2020
la Repubblica > Curon, il paese sommerso ritrova la vita, 03.II.2020
Stratagemmi > Curon/Graun, intervista a Filippo Andreatta, 02.II.2020
la Repubblica > Quel campanile del borgo sommerso, 25.I.2020

ICON Design > La poesia dell'immobilità, 15.I.2020
La Lettura - Corriere della Sera > Ho visto 100 spettacoli, 12 buoni, 8 brutti, gli altri... 30.XII.2018

La Lettura - Corriere della Sera > Suona ancora, campana, ti prego!, 25.XI.2018

domenica - il Sole 24 ore > RomaEuropa ospita lo spettacolo del campanile sommerso, 11.XI.2018 
il Trentino > l'intervista, 04.XI.2018
il manifesto - Alias > Il campanile silenzioso, 11.VIII.2018 
Rumor(s)cena > L'opera Curon/Graun: quando la storia ispira l'arte, 26.VI.2018
L'Adige > Con Curon/Graun si riflette sull'Italia, 14.VI.2018
ATP Diary > Un Supercontinent che si avvera, 14.VI.2018
Smart Review > CURON/GRAUN quando tra uomo e natura si insinua il teatro, 11.VI.2018
Exibart  > Il suono del campanile sommerso, 11.VI.2018
Corriere della Sera - Trentino > La Haydn a Drodesera, 10.VI.2018
Franz Magazine > Rintocchi nel silenzio, 08.VI.2018
Club Milano > CURON/GRAUN teatro musicale, 07.VI.2018
ArtsLive > Rintocchi di suoni e silenzi, 06.VI.2018
Stratagemmi > Curon/Graun, 04.III.2018
Artribune > L’inondazione di Curon raccontata da OHT, 04.III.2018
Connessi all'Opera Curon/Graun, 27.II.2018
Corriere dell'Alto Adige > Curon/Graun al Sociale, 25.II.2018
Sipario Curon/Graun, 25.II.2018
MTG Lirica CURON/GRAUN – OPERA 2021, 25.II.2018
Le Salon Musical Trento e Bolzano: Curon e Gaia, 23.II.2018
Giornale Della Musica Dittico contemporaneo, 22.II.2018


Curon / Graun
sotry of a drowned village

> by OHT | Office for a Human Theatre

> music Arvo Pärt
> “Fratres” for string quartet
> “Fratres” for string and percussion
> “Fratres” for violin, string and percussion
> “Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten”

> directing Filippo Andreatta
> set-design Paola Villani
> light-design William Trentini
> video Armin Ferrari
> stage manager Viviana Rella
> best-boy Massimiliano Rassu
> best-girl Letizia Paternieri
> producer Laura Marinelli
> graphic consultant Letizia Tempesta Filisetti
> decor Nadia Simeonkova, Silvano Brugnara
> production Fondazione Haydn di Bolzano e Trento | Haydn Stiftung von Bozen und Trient
> co-production OHT, Centrale Fies

> winner of Fondazione Haydn / Fringe, I Edition

edition Universal Edition AG, for Italy Casa Ricordi, Milano

production history

23.II.2018 Trento, Teatro Sociale 
12.VI.2018 Dro, Drodesera festival – Centrale Fies 
17.XI.2018 Roma, Roma Europa Festival
23-24-25.I.20 > Triennale Milano Teatro, Milan
05.II.20 > Teatro Verdi, Florence
09-10-11.X.20 > Festival Aperto, i Teatri di Reggio Emilia
06-07.III.21 > Teatro di Silandro, Alto-Adige / Südtirol
04.IV.23 > Teatro Zandonai, Rovereto

number of replica