E poi… e poi? La morte è il nulla!

The Swedes are lucky. They have the fabulous Daniel Harding leading their radio symphony orchestra for one thing. And some days ago they gave a New Year’s concert with none other than Welsh bass barytone Bryn Terfel. Watching the show, which was a soft cocktail of opera, operetta and musical pieces, I was reminded of one of my favourite memories.

Some seven years ago I lived in Rome for a semester studying at the university and there I encountered one of my to this day closest friends. One afternoon I was visiting him and we were listening to opera together, me quite frantically explaining why it was all so wonderful. And while explaining I got so excited I just switched from Italian to my mother tongue without even noticing it. It became a sort of defining moment to our new friendship me unconsciously believing he would understand me even in Danish…

The thing I was so in to was Jago’s credo from Verdi’s Othello. Especially the part where he talks about death and the hereafter. Which according to Jago is nulla – nothingness.

He goes: “E poi… e poi? La morte è il nulla” (“And then… and then? Death is nothingness.”)

That quote has been a recurrent joke between me and my friend ever since. When you think of it “and then” is used quite often when you tell of something, so you can if you’re in the right mood turn a perfectly innocent conversation into a matter of life and death and full-blown existentialism just by dramatically adding “la morte è il NULLA!”

So we do of course. All the time.

But here it is with Bryn Terfel acting like hell. That discrete kind of interpretation is perfectly Jago – enjoy the coldness of his eyes.

/anna

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This entry was posted in Friends, Happy Moments, Music, Opera, YouTube. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to E poi… e poi? La morte è il nulla!

  1. Rughino says:

    Cara Annina,
    ricordo benissimo la scena: eri in cucina a via Laura Mantegazza, non so se a fare il té, a mangiare un pezzo di torta o a lavare i piatti. Ma ti ricordo vicina al lavandino, che di un tratto cominci a parlare una lingua che non capivo, e i cui suoni conoscevo solo di quel bellissimo film, che allora abbiamo rivisto insieme: Il pranzo di Babette…
    La nostra amicizia ormai è storica, ed è bellissima. Quando penso alla mia vita negli ultimi anni, vedo come hai avuto un ruolo assolutamente centrale in tantissime cose che ho fatto… e anche nel mio amore e conoscenza dell’opera lirica – che prima mi piaceva molto informalmente.
    La frase di Iago rimarrà sempre tra di noi, e soltanto noi (e ora i lettori del tuo blog) riusciranno a capire perchè ci fa tanto ridere l’assurdo di questa inserzione verdiana nel bel mezzo di un discorso del tutto differente.
    Mi manchi!
    Meno male che presto ti riavrò a Roma!!
    Un bacio,
    R

  2. anninateatime says:

    Grazie!
    Non vedo l’ora di andare a visitarti!
    /anna

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