By Ronald Harwood, directed and with Luca Zingaretti.
The question that haunts Harwood’s play, originally titled Collaboration, is “How does the artist survive in an authoritarian society?” It deals with the fruitful partnership in the early 1930s between the composer Richard Strauss and the Austrian novelist, Stefan Zweig, on the opera Die Schweigsame Frau.
Harwood's play also charts the growing tension between the Jewish Zweig, who could not endure the Nazis' destruction of the European culture he so greatly prized, and Strauss, who was forced into an accommodation with the prevailing tyranny.
The intelligent script by Oscar-winning Harwood illuminates two different responses to barbarism: that of the tragic realist, Zweig, and that of the naive dreamer, Strauss. It also offers an exploration of a timeless political dilemma.
Teatro Eliseo, Via Nazionale 183, tel. 064882114, www.teatroeliseo.it.