Antonio e Cleopatra
(Antony and Cleopatra)
Valter Malosti and Anna Della Rosa protagonists in a masterpiece that plays with high and low, history, eros and power.
Of Antony and Cleopatra, my generation has above all impressed in its memory the image, bordering on kitsch and seen through the magnifying glass of Hollywood cinema, of the couple Richard Burton / Liz Taylor. But on this disenchanted and mysterious work, mixing the tragic, the comic, the sacred, the grotesque, the high and the low, on this marvellous philosophical and mystical (and alchemic) poem that sanctifies Eros, written in verses that are among the highest and most evocative of all Shakespearean works, hovers, for more than one scholar, the shadow of our great philosopher Giordano Bruno: a theatre of the mind.
For Antony, knowing Cleopatra – a ‘Serpent of the Old Nile’ who sits enthroned clad in the mantle of Isis – is what gives meaning to his life’s journey. For Cleopatra, writes Nadia Fusini, “she is the priestess of a dramatic action from which springs again and again the ancient question, which already obsessed Zeus and Hera: who enjoys more in love, the man or the woman? […] and who loves more, enjoys less? And among lovers, who receives more? […] These are questions that, in the logic of the erotic economy with which Shakespeare plays, explode with thunder, dissolving puritan machinations aimed at legislating in a repressive sense on the incandescent matter of eros.
Antony and Cleopatra is an optical prism, as Gilberto Sacerdoti suggests: “Seen from the front, it is the story of love and politics narrated by Plutarch. Seen from the side, it prompts us to decipher ‘nature’s infinite book of secrets’. In order to find a counterpart to Antony’s infinite love, one must therefore discover a new heaven and a new earth”.
photo by Laila Pozzo