World premiere of Patto di sangue, a grim comedy-drama in two parts by Matteo D’Amico, in Florence, Teatro Goldoni, on 22nd May 2009 (additional performance on 24th). The libretto, written by Sandro Cappelletto, is loosely based on Ramòn del Valle-Inclàn’s Retablo de la avaricia, la lujuria y la muerte. The Retablo, made up of 5 single-scene acts conceived for a theatre of marionettes and shadow puppets, confronts a single theme: how lust and greed lead to death. The characters, wretched individuals held up by the force of an ambiguous mysticism, are mere puppets driven by mysterious and ritualistic forces in a world that is no more than appearance. It is a drama that, tending ever more towards the grotesque, reveals itself as farce. This operatic adaptation by D’Amico and Cappelletto takes up two of the short comedies of the Retablo (Patto di sangue and La rosa di carta); the Italian libretto maintains a number of passages in the original language, bringing back to life the richness and variety of tone in Valle-Inclàn’s text. This wealth of inflection also pervades the construction of the vocal line, bringing to the fore the theatrical dimension of the characters. The instrumental part, extremely tight and complex, underpins the dramatic structure of the diptych. The production by the Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino will feature Tania Bussi, Mirko Guadagnini, Patrizia Orciani, Gabriella Sborgi, Roberto Abbondanza and Manuela Bisceglie with the Orchestra del Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino under the direction of Marcello Panni. The stage direction is by Daniele Abbado, the scenery by Graziano Gregori and the costumes by Carla Teti.