The bacchantes

Debut: Genoa, Sala Eleonora Duse, 29 February 1968 (RaiTeche movie)

Translation Edoardo Sanguineti
Direction Luigi Squarzina
Assistant director Marcello Aste
Set and costume Gianni Polidori
Music Franco Donatoni
Production Teatro Stabile di Genova

Characters and performers

Dioniso Giulio Brogi
Tiresia Guido Lazzarini
Cadmo Vittorio Sanipoli
Penteo Omero Antonutti
A soldier Gianni De Lellis
The shepherds Gianpiero Bianchi
Antonello Pischedda
Maggiorino Porta
The messenger Nando Gazzolo
Agave Lucilla Morlacchi
The coryphaea Carmen Scarpitta
First bacchant Maria Teresa Bax
Second bacchant Maria Grazia Grassini
The bacchantes Lu Bianchi
Carla Bolelli
Carla Cassola
Simona Caucia
Sara Di Nepi
Antonietta Forlani
Ilaria Guerrini
Jeanine Hendy
Luciana Negrini
Cecilia Todeschini

This rereading of Euripides is an extraordinary, modernizing version with original theatrical inventions, staged for the first time indoors.
Squarzina introduces Euripides’s tragedy into a context of current motifs, while experimenting with new modes of interpretation. Particularly significant is the Establishment clothing worn by King Pentheus, Cadmus, and Tiresias, with Dionysus dressed as a sparkling guru and the Bacchantes as hippies. The Greek tragedy thus brings present-day political and cultural questions to the fore, because, as the director himself says, “…a text’s being classical means being perennially contemporary.” He therefore deems it essential to make all great theatre truly contemporary for today’s public, and to make today’s audience feel contemporary with the great insights that chose to express themselves in theatrical form.

The Rai news service

We thank Teatro Nazionale di Genova for the concession of the use of photographic material.