Oedipus is a name, a story, and a myth that can be traced throughout Western culture from the Greeks to the present day, not only because along that path there is a frequent and unending sequence of literary, theatrical and musical works but also and especially because that classic drama has led to an examination over the centuries of the problem of self-recognition. Presenting Oedipus’ story on the stage today is an act of faith in the durability of his mythical tale and in the powerful impact of his name and story.
The original idea was to create a new way to narrate the myth of Oedipus. Ex Oedipo is a drama in con-cert where Mario Totaro’s original music and the words of Pietro Conversano integrate to generate a com-plex, fluid yet rigorous performance. The musical instruments create a rapid sequence of a few elements, continuously changing that blend with the three solo voices.
Pietro Conversano’s text starts out, as always, from a point and pretext. Among the Greek tragedies passed down to us, only Sophocles presents the story of Oedipus, which is presented here: Oedipus Rex, a brilliant drama with a formidable plot revolving around the treacherous game of “self-recognition”. In this new interpretation of the myth, Oedipus, his mother Jocasta, and the blind prophet Tiresias travel back in time through their memories and nightmares, encountering the key witnesses to the tragic and oblivious destiny of Oedipus: the preacher, a drunk, a fortune-teller, the Sphinx, and the old man of Thebes. In the classic tradition, these figures are barely mentioned or they play a marginal role, but in this sort of dream-like journey hidden within the tragedy, they become the protagonists and are almost the sacred guardians of Oedipus’ true and secret conscience.
Edipo è un nome, è una storia, è un mito con cui è possibile percorrere l’intero tragitto della cultura occidentale, dalla grecità ad oggi. Non solo perché su tale percorso si allineano, in frequente ed incessante successione, numerose opere letterarie, teatrali e musicali, ma anche e soprattutto perché su quella traccia drammaturgica classica si è venuto misurando nei secoli il problema della conoscenza umana del Sé. Riportare ancor oggi sulla scena il racconto di Edipo è un atto di fiducia nella durata della sua parola mitica, nella potente cifra di trasmissione del suo nome e della sua storia. L’idea originaria è stata pertanto quella di creare un nuovo modo di tramandare il mito di Edipo: Ex Oedipo, una tragedia – concerto dove la musica originale di Mario Totaro e le parole di Pietro Conversano si integrano fra loro per dar vita ad un organismo complesso, fluido e rigoroso al tempo stesso. Gli strumenti musicali danno vita ad un gioco serrato, derivato da pochi elementi continuamente variati e in stretta fusione con le tre voci recitanti. Nel testo di Pietro Conversano si parte, come sempre, da un punto, da un pretesto: tra le tragedie greche tramandate, solo quella di Sofocle ha come ipotesi il brano della storia di Edipo che viene qui riproposto: l’Edipo Re, dramma magistrale, dalla costruzione formidabile, che ruota intorno al perfido gioco del “riconosci te stesso”. In questa nuova lettura del mito, Edipo, la madre Giocasta e Tiresia, il profeta cieco, incontrano durante il percorso “a ritroso” nelle loro memorie e nei loro incubi, i testimoni chiave del tragico ed inconsapevole destino di Edipo: il predicatore, un ubriaco, la cartomante, la Sfinge, il vecchio di Tebe. Personaggi che nella tradizione classica vengono appena citati o hanno spazio marginale, ma che, in questa sorta di cammino onirico e nascosto dentro la tragedia, assurgono a ruolo di protagonisti, quasi a divenire i sacri custodi della coscienza vera e segreta di Edipo.
The TRIO DIAGHILEV “perform continual ‘coups de theatre’ to the point where they transform an apparently simple concert into truly remarkable performance... with infinitely more daring effects when compared with the orchestral versions”…. “the way in which the Trio succeeds in creating symphonic sounds is impressive, as is the dynamism of the two pianos and percussion…” - comments from the Munich "Süddeutsche Zeitung".
Each player’s stunning instrumental technique, the virtuosity of the pianists, the percussion’s impressive impact, their refined taste and respectful open-mindedness, together with their creativity and resulting emotional tension make the Trio Diaghilev's performances into an astonishing and exciting evening.
The Trio Diaghilev's repertoire includes some of the greatest 20th century musical masterpieces (including works by Bartok, Stravinsky, Milhaud, Satie, Holst, Ravel, Bernstein, Gershwin and Weill) as well as original compositions written especially for them.
The Trio has gained much critical acclaim and great enthusiasm from the public in Italy and abroad. They have performed in prestigious events and festivals (Galleria dei Suoni- Musica 2000- Cidim, Rome; I Concerti dell’Ateneo/UIC, Rome; Futuroma on the opening night for the celebrations of the centenary of the Futurist Movement, Rome; XLuna for the celebrations of the fortieth anniversary of the landing on the moon, Roma; Gioventù Musicale Italiana, Milano; Auditorium Manzoni, Bologna; Associazione Scarlatti, Napoli; ROF (Rossini Opera Festival), Pesaro; Ente Concerti also in Pesaro; Sagra Musicale Malatestiana, Rimini; Autunno Musicale, Como; Amici della Musica, Ancona; Cittadella Theatre, Lugano; Internationales Iffeldorfer Meisterkonzer, Ifferdorf; Moore Theatre, Seattle; Benaroya Hall, Seattle; Rialto Theatre, Tacoma).
They have also worked with some important dance companies (the Italian Ballet company directed by Carla Fracci and Beppe Menegatti, the Dance Theatre of Torino conducted by Matteo Levaggi and the Spectrum Dance Theatre of Seattle conducted by Donald Byrd). They have also taken part as invited ‘guests of honour’ in RAI (Italian Radio) broadcasts (“Radiotre Suite” in Roma, Salone del Lingotto in Torino). They have also performed with the Orchestra of the Teatro Comunale-Bologna, the Filarmonica Toscanini-Parma, The Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale Rai of Torino, the Haydn Orchester of Bolzano and Trento conducted by Michele Mariotti in Bartok’s Concerto for two pianos, percussion and orchestra.
The Trio Diaghilev have recorded Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Petrushka, also Bartok’s The Miraculous Mandarin on the Taukay label, distributed worldwide by Eroica Classical Recordings.
Mario Totaro graduated in piano from the Conservatory “G. Rossini” in Pesaro with honours and in composition from the Conservatory “G. Verdi” in Milan with top marks. He studied piano with Franco Scala and composition with Mario Garuti. Mario Totaro initially devoted himself to piano and continued his studies at the "Mozarteum" in Salzburg under Carlo Zecchi and in Imola ("Incontri col Maestro") under Gyorgy Sandor, Alexander Lonquich, Aldo Ciccolini, Nikita Magaloff and Bruno Canino. At nineteen Totaro became a Professor at the Conservatory of Pesaro, where he’s still teaching. He has been awarded prizes in several piano competitions both national and international. Totaro has given several concerts in Italy and abroad where he presented programs based on improvisation and “contamination” between musical genres. In 1992, he was one of the founders of the Trio Diaghilev (two pianos and percussion). With the Trio Diaghilev Totaro proposed some of the most relevant 20th century masterpieces as well as his own original compositions in prestigious concerts seasons in Italy and abroad, some of which being the "Rossini Opera Festival", "Ente Concerti" - Pesaro, "Istituzione Universitaria dei Concerti" and "Cidim - Musica Duemila" - Rome, "Sagra Musicale Malatestiana" - Rimini, "Associazione A. Scarlatti" - Naples, "Società Filarmonica" - Trento, "Autunno Musicale" - Como, Bologna Philarmonic Orchestra, Filarmonica A. Toscanini, Orchestra Nazionale RAI, Haydn Orchester, and in important radio programs. As a Professor Totaro has held courses of instrumental specialization and musical analysis based on original and innovative formulas, which exploit the connections between the brain, the Central Nervous System and the movements required in musical execution. Totaro has been awarded in international competitions for some of his works ("Ennio Porrino" - Cagliari) that have been broadcast on different occasions during RAI Radio productions (“Radiotre Suite”, “Il brivido della classica”, "Piazza Verdi"). He has been commissioned by important artistic institutions (“Rossini Opera Festival”, “Feste Musicali di Bologna”, "Sagra Musicale Malatestiana”,“Accademia Pianistica Incontri col Maestro”,"Rassegna Lirica Torelliana”, "Centro Astor Piazzolla" etc.). Totaro has directed the “Laboratory of 20th Century and Contemporary Music” at the Conservatory of Pesaro, whose aim is to study last-century masterpieces, to stimulate new musical proposals and to promote the music of the latest generations.