To celebrate the Italian Language Week in the World, the Italian Embassy in Yangon staged a theatre performance based on Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron to honour the theme of this year’s edition “Italian on Stage” and to pay tribute to the father of Italian literature in prose. The re-adaptation of Boccaccio’s masterpiece in a modern key by Marco Luly, Sabrina Candeloro Zuber and Robert Jenkins offered the opportunity to disseminate, for the first time in Myanmar, not only the value of this work but also the influence that this master of Italian prose exercised on some of the greatest names in European literature, including Chaucer and Shakespeare. The performance also offered the opportunity to illustrate the evolution of our language from its origins to date, along a path – which was reconstructed by Ambassador Schiavo – that started from Latin, then developed through the vernacular (precisely in Boccaccio’s 100 novellas) to be crowned by modern-day Italian.
The Decameron is one of the very first (if not the first in absolute terms) theatre performances produced by a foreign company staged in Myanmar after the years of dictatorship and recorded an extraordinary involvement of the audience, which often interacted with the actors.
The Week’s billboard included a concert of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, which was also attended by the Chief Minister of the Region of Yangon. Three Maestros (Bellu, Ferri and Dindo from the FOI Bruno Bartoletti) played together with the youths of the Orchestra for Myanmar to close the first phase of a training project launched by the Italian Embassy as part of the “Italy for Talent in Myanmar” Programme.
The concert was followed by a Workshop (held by Maestro Gabriele Bellu) on the care of musical instruments, which offered the opportunity to highlight the mastery of the great Italian violin makers (Stradivari, Amati and Guarneri del Gesu’), thus conveying the incisive message that Italian – in every one of its expressions, including music – is the language of beauty and artistic and literary traditions. In short: the “Language of Culture”.