World Premiere, Bologna, Teatro Comunale – 24.4.2014
When the twentieth century opened its eyes to the Holocaust, it made a frightening discovery: it realised that evil does not live outside us, it is no longer elsewhere, but has crept into the very fibres of our bodies and our minds. The ethical and political ratio of – there is no why here - the new "opera" by Andrea Molino, is a reflection on the concept of evil (and its dialectical antagonist, good). [...] - there is no why here - is an exciting and profound "theatre of ideas" that rejects any linear narrative and dares to put on stage the bright and stabbing power of an abstract thought – however, an abstract thought which speaks of us.
Guido Barbieri, Repubblica, 27.04.2014
It is a work of today in the sense that it thrives on music made of many genres, from electronics to the "dirty" sounds of the underground world, from folk songs to the most up to date examples of art music, performed by a large orchestra combined with percussion, saxophones and the amplified voices of Anna Linardou and David Moss. It has a double merit: on the one hand to be music with a strong impact, able to speak to an audience without previously being filtered through barriers of style; on the other to be placed outside of the greyness of academicism, that is the scourge of today's art music. [...] It has the flavour of authenticity. There was also lots of applause for Molino as conductor.
Michele Girardi, Il Corriere della Sera, 1.5.2014
"We opened a path, we will harvest its results over the years. In Italy you don't see such performances." Leaving the Teatro Comunale on Thursday night, the artistic consultant Nicola Sani had the bright eyes of one who has already seen the future. Every time has its own art. But what happens if art wants to be out of its own time? Andrea Molino has set a demanding but not a provocatively redundant challenge; in "- there is no why here -" the concepts of operatic plot, characters, genres and roles are completely discarded. There are performers instead of actors, different expressions of visual art instead of a scenography, extreme aural adventures rather than vocals, literary quotes rather than a libretto, Greco Roman wrestling instead of choreography. For the audience the legitimate question it not "what the work is about" but "what I see", where what is observed does not make sense by itself, but it exists in relation to the sound. Indeed, perhaps it is the sound itself. "- There is no why here -" is a work in progress, and what we saw in the world premiere is not necessarily the only possible version. The only way to join the debate is to go to the theatre and get involved, to leave the reassuring opera arias and be torn to pieces by the verses, shouted words, senseless at times. Because it's not offered as a definitive and complete element, the sense needs to be added by the observer.
Luca Baccolini, Repubblica Bologna, 26.4.2014
The project conceived by the composer Andrea Molino with the literary collaboration of Giorgio van Straten is not strictly an opera (neither were his previous two works "Credo" and "Winners "). [...] The performers of "– there is no why here -" do not narrate, do not represent but play, gesticulate and enunciate various texts. [...] And they do it with the spoken voice: "spoken", of course, in the broader sense of the word, ranging from pitched pronunciation to fragmentation into individual phonemes, sometime with electronic amplification of the voice. There are, in all of this, two moments of great theatrical beauty, a visual one (young people playing volleyball with unknown opponents on both sides of one of the many walls that separate people from each other in the world), and a vocal one (the only moment of "real" singing: a touching popular Greek lullaby). The performance, conducted by the composer himself, accomplished the maximum possible on a musical level, thanks to the presence of such vocal professionals as David Moss (assisted by three members of the Institute for Living Voice) and Anna Linardou, the masterful vocalist of the Greek lullaby, as well as the contribution on stage of the highly versatile group BL!NDMAN, saxophones and percussion, accompanied from the pit by the large symphony orchestra.
Marco Beghelli, il Resto del Carlino, 25.4.2014
- There is no why here - the new creation by the composer, Andrea Molino, who is ranked among the foremost of his generation, is a very important world premiere. Sensitive to ethical and civil rights issues, the composer from Turin is in fact also an internationally established conductor, and his works, especially the theatrical ones, demonstrate a very powerful statement within the contemporary music scene in Italy and abroad. Sensitive to multimedia, Molino has developed a very personal language. The opera by Molino and van Straten rejects traditional narration; it is a conceptual work, following in the wake of the most important works of Luigi Nono, it starts from the manifestation of evil, evoked by the quote from Levi, to develop around it a discourse of considerable political significance (in the highest sense of the term) . [...] In Molino's music [...] the fragment and the whole coexist, as an expression of the transition from individuality to community which takes place on stage. The percussion, used in abundance, express unrelenting, primal rhythms, as if to suggest a path of reason in unexplored places. The timbre of the saxophone possesses that kind of fog that unanswered questions generate in our mind. The strings, often extremely tense, are the exhausted nerves of those who find themselves on the brink. On stage a great performance by David Moss, a singer of very special quality, with an extensive vocal range. The rest of the cast – the voice of Anna Linardou, awesome in the Greek lullaby and the three members of the Institute for Living Voice of Antwerp: Aline Goffin, Annelinde Bruijs and Sander De Winne, were very well balanced. In short, contemporary opera is not only an intellectually lively product of art, but also an opportunity to reflect on dense, difficult issues: in its abstract and practical dimension it succeeds in speaking to modern audiences with a language that, yes, requires focussing, but is also rewarding, while touching the critical issues of human thought. A great compliment should therefore be forwarded to the Teatro Comunale of Bologna, who has met this challenge with courage, in the hope that the trend towards the development of the contemporary repertoire will not be interrupted – because opera is alive and is capable of saying a great deal.
Michele Donati, Bloggione, 26.4.2014
One of the most touching moments was the lullaby sung by Anna, the wonderful Anna Linardou, a sweet mother, but capable of infanticide, the most horrible of crimes. David Moss was as usual a giant in his extreme use of the voice. The audience welcomed this presentation with widespread approval.
Nicola Pirrone, ANSA Bologna, 25.4.2014
Among the following scenes we pick the most emotional: the vision of young people playing volleyball with strangers across one of the many walls that divide people: Israel, Belfast, Tijuana Beach... Another magical moment is the lullaby sung in a sweet voice by Anna Linardou – but it is gradually overwhelmed by a tension that reveals the worst of crimes: mothers murdering their own children. Musically the Maestro has obtained a remarkable result thanks to the quality of the orchestra, to the extraordinary performance of the group BLINDMAN, sax and percussion, the perfect work of David Moss helped by three members of the Institute for Living Voice, and Anna Linardou, expert solo singer of the Greek lullaby. Let's not forget the passionate participation of the young students of the School of Theatre “Alessandra Galante Garrone”. Both visually and musically everything contributes to distressing the spectator, highlighting the tragedy of the modern world. It is definitely a very interesting project. The audience on the second evening attentively followed and repeatedly applauded the performance.
Magda Ruggeri Marchetti, Artzeblai, 1.5.2014
The absence of boundaries is presented in "- there is no why here -" as an affirmation of modernity, in the face of which the presence of the walls, erected by man (from the one which divides Israelis and Palestinians to the one which divides US-Americans and Mexicans) is depicted in all its violence. The “pulsating” music is the engine of compulsive action, which finds its only moment of rest before the abyss, the infanticide by a mother, performed by the excellent Anna Linardou. In the other scenes, David Moss is gigantic: everything relies on the flexible and intelligent way in which he uses his wonderful voice.
Andrea Ravagnan, Il Giornale della Musica, 25.4.2014
Success in Bologna for the premiere of – there is no why here -.
[...] The scene opens to hope. And here ends the show, among the convinced applauses of the audience.
The performance, conducted by Andrea Molino, is precise, meticulous, the result is remarkably captivating and even - at times - pleasant for those who know how to appreciate twentieth century's classical music.
Athos Tromboni, Gli Amici della Musica, 26.4.2014