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Set on a small Italian island, exiled Chilean poet Pablo Neruda receives so much fan mail that a personal postman, Mario Ruoppolo, is hired to deliver his letters.
Mario, smitten by Beatrice Russo, turns to Pablo for help writing poetry that would help him win the heart of the woman he longs for. Soon after, Mario and the barmaid fall in love and wed. In the third act, influenced by Pablo's works, Mario begins writing political poems and while reciting at a communist demonstration, violence breaks out and he receives a gunshot wound, killing him. His route to creating the work began when he first saw the film Il Postino and thought it would make a good opera.
However, at the time he was in the midst of composing Florencia en el Amazonas and then received a commission from Houston Grand Opera for his fourth opera Salsipuedes which premiered in After completing that work, he returned to the Postino project. It's rare that an idea I had 15 years ago resurfaces, then I take it on, because one changes so much in that time.
But when I came back to this idea, in fact I was still interested in it, but for different reasons. Instead of identifying with the Mario character, with the young aspiring poet, in fact now I could see the story from the other point of view, which was of the older poet.
However, financial difficulties at Los Angeles Opera caused the postponement of the premiere until the following season. The opera finally premiered on 23 September as the opening production of the season. The staging also included projections designed by Philip Bussmann that created a Mediterranean atmosphere and at various points showed old footage of political unrest in Chile and a blackboard with poetry written on it.
The Los Angeles production ran for six performances, ending on 16 October and was filmed for a later broadcast on PBS television. On that occasion the orchestral scoring was reduced to 21 players. However, there are several key differences between the novel and both the film and the opera.
Ardiente paciencia is set in Chile during the rise and fall of the Allende Government in the early s with Neruda and his wife Matilde living in their house at Isla Negra , on the Chilean coast. The film and opera move the locale from Chile to a fictional Italian island and the time to the early s. Although Neruda and Matilde who were not yet married did sojourn to Italy during his exile from Chile and stayed on the Isle of Capri on-and-off between and , they were guests in Edwin Cerio 's villa there and did not have their own house.
At that time Neruda had not yet achieved the world-wide fame as a poet that he had by the early s when he won the Nobel Prize for Literature. At the time, he was working on the libretto for Il Postino and wrote:. Is it not ironic, for example, that it has been the Italian cinema that rescued Neruda with Il Postino?
I will make it into an opera and will restore our language to it. Why rescue when we can create? The language choice drew a mixed reaction from the critics.
The Los Angeles Times critic found it "peculiar" given the Italian setting. Where was the dramaturge during all of this? Setting: The fictional Italian island of Cala di Sotto during the s . Prelude Di Cosimo, a politician running for office on the island, sings a nationalist song. Soon after, an announcement is made on the radio stating that Pablo Neruda, a great Chilean poet, has arrived in Rome. Exiled, he will live on the island of Cala di Sotto.
He then reveals that he has found a new job working as a postman. Scene 2: "Tus manos…" The following day, Pablo is reading on the patio when his wife Matilde arrives. Embracing her, he poetically sings "Desnuda" "Nude" , relating her and her body to the beauty of nature. Scene 3: "Buenos dias…su correo" Mario arrives, delivering Pablo's mail.
Catching the couple in an embrace, Pablo quickly turns to Mario and collects his mail, meeting him for the first time. Scene 4: "Mujer! Discovering that most of the letters are from women, Mario tells Giorgio that he bought one of Pablo's books and wants to have it signed so that he can impress others. Scene 5: "Correo! Pablo tells him to observe the world around him and discover its metaphors. Using the sea as an example, Pablo sings "Oda al mar" "Ode to the Sea" , describing the blue water as it spills and moves.
Mario soon begins to understand Pablo's words in the duet "Metaforas" "Metaphors". Mario, taken by her beauty, approaches her. The two play a game of table soccer and Beatrice beats him handily. Mario learns her name. Scene 7: "Don Pablo! Mario, holding a delivery of mail, runs to him and confesses that he is in love with Beatrice. Pablo laughs. Mario asks him for help writing a poem to impress Beatrice but Pablo declines as he does not know her.
Giving Pablo his mail, Mario declines payment. Scene 1: "Que haces? Her aunt, Donna Rosa enters the room and is displeased by her niece's contact with the younger man. Beatrice, falling in love with Mario, tells her aunt that he spoke to her in metaphors. Soon they argue over Mario's intentions and Donna Rosa finds a letter from Mario. She takes it away and leaves the room. Scene 2: "Tus manos Giorgio and others complain that he's been promising this for years.
Di Cosimo calls them liars and states that it wasn't him making the promises. Excited at the prospect of workers coming to the island and becoming customers, Donna Rosa pledges her support for Di Cosimo. Scene 3: Love Duet 1 Mario approaches Beatrice in the evening, singing more metaphors in an effort to impress her. Influenced by her aunt, Beatrice is reluctant to accept Mario's advances. Pablo gives him a book that will help him with his metaphors, then introduces him to a sound recorder.
The device plays, telling them that Pablo's book is a big success in Chile and will be re-printed. Upon hearing the letter, Donna Rosa is horrified by the contents of the poetry written to Beatrice. Scene 6: Love Duet 2 Mario and Beatrice meet in the night, sharing an embrace. With a gun, Donna Rosa comes looking for them, calling out for her niece. Mario and Beatrice share a kiss and Beatrice runs away. Scene 7: "Chile la sangre de tus hijos" Pablo receives a letter from Chile telling him that there is more bloodshed.
Singing "Chile la sangre de tus hijos" "Chile, blood of your children" Pablo laments the lives lost and the difficulties back at home. Matilde enters the room and Pablo shares his grief. Mario arrives, wanting to speak to Pablo but waits as the couple embraces. In a panic, Mario runs into Pablo's room and hides.
Donna Rosa arrives with a gun and tells Pablo that Mario is poisoning her niece with metaphors. She threatens to shoot Mario if he meets with Beatrice again, then leaves. Beatrice responds and they soon meet, sharing their love for each other.
Donna Rosa tries to pursue them unsuccessfully. Scene "The Wedding" Mario and Beatrice wed. After the wedding, the guests gather at a table and celebrate. Donna Rosa, unhappy with the marriage, greets Mario hesitantly. Mario's father sings a song which is followed by a speech given from Mario. Pablo sings a song for the newlywed couple and the guests celebrate. Pablo offers Mario money as he will soon be unemployed.
Reluctantly he accepts and the two say goodbye. Giorgio arrives and tells Mario that Pablo is giving an award in Russia. Di Cosimo's thugs arrive, passing out flyers.
Word comes that Pablo is in Paris. In an interview Pablo states that he misses the island but not the people, causing some to get upset and feel forgotten. News comes that Di Cosimo has won the election. Soon he arrives, notifying Donna Rosa that all water work is being aborted, breaking his promise. Mario approaches Di Cosimo and is threatened. Beatrice tells Mario that she's pregnant. On the recording Pablo sings "Comprendo" "I Understand".
He and Giorgio connect the device to a battery and travel the island, collecting its sounds. Looking for Mario, they find Beatrice where she explains that Mario was invited to read his poetry at a communist demonstration. The event turned violent and Mario was shot and killed. In the recording Mario thanks Pablo for bringing poetry into his life. The critics writing on both the American and the Austrian premieres remarked on the "unapologetically" melodious nature of the score and noted that it was reminiscent of Puccini , both in the instrumental colors of the orchestral interludes and in the arias, singling out particularly the writing for the woodwinds and strings.
Filmed during the premiere run with the original cast in October , this recording was first broadcast in as part of the PBS television series Great Performances and was released on DVD the following year. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The Postman (Il Postino) : A Novel
The day after principal photography ended, he suffered a fatal heart attack, and the film was completed and released posthumously. In , Pablo Neruda , the famous Chilean poet, is exiled to a small island in Italy for political reasons. His wife accompanies him. On the island, a local, Mario Ruoppolo, is dissatisfied with being a fisherman like his father. Mario looks for other work and is hired as a temporary postman, with Neruda as his only customer. He uses his bicycle to hand deliver Neruda's mail.
Set on a small Italian island, exiled Chilean poet Pablo Neruda receives so much fan mail that a personal postman, Mario Ruoppolo, is hired to deliver his letters. Mario, smitten by Beatrice Russo, turns to Pablo for help writing poetry that would help him win the heart of the woman he longs for. Soon after, Mario and the barmaid fall in love and wed. In the third act, influenced by Pablo's works, Mario begins writing political poems and while reciting at a communist demonstration, violence breaks out and he receives a gunshot wound, killing him. His route to creating the work began when he first saw the film Il Postino and thought it would make a good opera. However, at the time he was in the midst of composing Florencia en el Amazonas and then received a commission from Houston Grand Opera for his fourth opera Salsipuedes which premiered in