“Cabaret D’Annunzio” is a new project of the Italian Drama Company, with the subtitle in genre terms of a musical comedy, the premiere of which is on Friday 17th March 2017 on the small stage of the CNT Ivan pl. Zajc. The production that was developed after the text by Fabrizio Sinisi is in the direction of Gianpiero Borgia and in cooperation with the Italian Teatro dei Borgia.
As the general manager Marin Blažević said at the press conference, D’Annunzio is probably the most controversial episode of the city of Rijeka, this being the very reason for tackling the issue from the theatrical point of view in order to stage it. The solution was found in the form of cabaret, though not the one offering mere fun, dance, music and sketch, but the cabaret that has the dimension of a grotesque, also tragedy and primarily the dimension of critical thinking.
The director of the Italian drama company Rosanna Bubola, who also plays in this production, underlined the research part of the work that preceded the work on stage; namely, the one in archives with the aim of finding historically based facts on and with the help of which the cabaret was constructed. “Gabriele D’Annunzio was not the same person as he used to present himself in public. This play travels through different periods of his life with D’Annunzio emerging as a comedian of sublime haughtiness, in the obvious contradiction with the events of the time and in his endeavour to ‘create his image’. Is there a better way than the cabaret to present the man for whom the glitter was the primary attraction. Thus, if we are to ignore the poet and the conqueror, it is just a handful of faded tinsel that remains of the figure of D’Annunzio,” said Rosanna Bubola.
The director Gianpiero Borgia pointed out that D’Annunzio is a controversial figure, from both the Italian and Croatian perspective, comparing him to Lady Gaga, as, owing to his exceptional skill in using the media, D’Annunzio managed to create himself as the-then eccentric star. At the same time, Borgia does not consider it the right thing when a historical figure is looked upon one-sidedly. Accordingly, on the one side there are real admirers of D’Annunzio, while on the other those who wholly dispute him. “If we make a production that won’t be liked by any of these two, it will mean that we have succeeded in making a good staging”, said Borgia and added that working on the production they also used “Danuncijada” by Viktor Car Emin. “From the youthful self-promotional invention of his own death to the conquering of the mundane life in Rome, from his seizure of Rijeka to the exile in Paris, from his vitalism of a lover and soldier to the sumptuous dusk embodied by Vittoriale – it cannot be disputed that Gabriele D’Annunzio existed outside any framework”, said Gianpero Borgia, also pointing out that “Rijeka was a stage and victim of his most glorious campaign, so that this Italian drama project is of special significance.” According to his opinion, D’Annunzio is the first in a possible gallery of “inconvenient” historical figures of Italian culture to which a theatre cycle should be devoted, the one that could be inaugurated by “Cabaret D’Annunzio”.
Next to the actors of the Italian drama company, there are also guests from Italy, thus, Fabrizio Coniglio plays the title role while the role of Eleonora Duse is interpreted by Elena Cotugno. In other roles there are Ivna Bruck, Rosanna Bubola, Giuseppe Nicodemo, Anton Plešić, Sabina Salamon, Mirko Soldano, Leonora Surian Popov and Valerio Trombone. The composer is Aleksandar Valenčić, the set designer Aleksandra Ana Buković, the costume designer Manuela Paladin Šabanović and the lighting designer Ivan Bauk.