The Theatre of Silence
A few years ago I have heard about the Theatre of Silence for the first time. During that summer my friends and I had the idea of taking half a day a week off and enjoy some hours free from all daily commitments. We also wanted to discover interesting places around Tuscany not too far away.
I remember that after a stroll towards Greve in Chianti our program was to visit the very opposite side, that is to say the Pisan hinterland. In order not to miss anything we started with a lovely cocktail by a nice pool near Pontedera. After that my friends wanted to show me the Theatre of Silence to which, I regret to say, we did not pay much attention. It was terribly hot and there was no shade at all.
Besides, we were really hungry and wanted to find a place were we could have a bite to eat. Restaurants or typical Tuscan eateries called “trattoria” in the inland usually open only for dinner. It turned out to be quite an undertaking because even at Lajatico, the village next to the theatre, everything was closed.
In the end, long after lunchtime and quite by chance we landed in Casciana Terme. There, luckily for us, a little hidden but still visible, the doors of paradise opened up through a tiny eatery with five tables run by a young couple passionate about cooking. The menu, created then and there with fresh seasonal products from the stalls of the local market, was delicious and would have fully satisfied the expectation of any food-wise spoiled Tuscan. After a tasteful dessert and a nice, strong espresso it was time to drive back home.
This year I did my homework well by consulting directly the Theatre of Silence website. There I learned that the theatre comes from an idea of the architect Alberto Bartalini and the enthusiasm of the famous lyric singer Andrea Bocelli, both born in Lajatico.
They must have been guided by the same passion in the heart and by the typical artistic vision which does not set limits. Only one evening a year the theatre would host a show with music, singing, ballet, lighting effects and fireworks.
That’s how in 2006, not without difficulties, the quite ambitious project like few others in the world has been set up. A little like the christening of a ship ready to leave and bring the hearts of the ones who get on board to places they have never been before.
The theatre has found its home on a hill. The stage is partly embraced by huge Tuscan travertine marble blocks, arranged in a half moon position. In front a small artificial pond and seating area with space for up to eight thousand guests. All around a breathtaking scenography made of grain fields and meadows as far as the eye can see. The artists, maybe bewitched by the extraordinary atmosphere, seem to perform in a total state of grace. Each show makes the evening even more memorable through surprising works of art, every year created for the occasion by a different artist.
The set-up is organized only a few days before. Immediately after the show, as if by magic, everything is removed and disappears as if nothing had ever been there. Flora and Fauna take back their kingdoms. Mother Nature will take care of the hill and make sure that apart from the buzzing of insects and the gentle breeze of wind silence is being respected.
Getting tickets for this magical evening is a little difficult, at times the waiting list was more than two years. I would have loved to be like a little spider I’ve seen there. It built its home a couple of weeks before the show in a grain field close by. Fresh food at hand (…) and a beautiful view of the stage. Who could move me from there? No-one, absolutely no-one.