Alessandro Baricco

Tucidide. Atene contro Melo

Piazza Duomo

Thursday 29 June Ore 21:00

from 25€ to 60€


adaptation and direction

Alessandro Baricco



Giovanni Sollima


with Alessandro Baricco, Stefania Rocca, Valeria Solarino

and Giovanni Sollima, Enrico Melozzi, 100 Cellos

Alessandro Baricco premieres his new play Thucydides. Athens versus Melo. The author himself will perform onstage as narrator, flanked by Stefania Rocca and Valeria Solarino and accompanied by the 100 Cellos, the prodigious ensemble of one hundred cellists founded and directed by Giovanni Sollima, who wrote the music for the show.


Inspired by Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War, Baricco recounts the events that took place in 416 B.C. and the Athenian ultimatum to the inhabitants of the island of Milos, in the Cyclades: submit to their rule or perish. The refusal of the Melians resulted in severe punishment, one of the war’s most tragic episodes: the city was destroyed, all the city’s men killed and its women and children deported as slaves. The response of the Athenians was enormously disproportionate, the force of the Athenians overwhelming. Nevertheless, before they took up arms, the Athenians and Melians met to negotiate the island’s future.


“Curiously,” Baricco explains, “Thucydides recounts this meeting of ambassadors as if he had participated in it: he reports the exact words spoken by the ambassadors, reconstructing the oratorial clash between the two sides in dramatically vivid detail. Although he was a historian (indeed, the first historian), in those pages he ended up writing about theatre, and beautiful theatre at that. This is why the stage seemed like the perfect context in which to bring those pages to fruition, allowing them to arrive where they always seemed to have dreamed of going.”


The text recited by Baricco becomes even more topical if one thinks about the content: a beautiful and fierce reflection on what remains of Justice and Law when faced with an powerful aggressor and a weak victim, the victor and the conquered. In the ambassadors’ elegant yet brutal words, the author illustrates a clash that would continue to trouble the West for centuries: how to maintain Justice when it comes face to face with politics and war.

production Holden Studios, Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi

World premiere
Duration 80 minutes

Please note that dates and times may be subject to change.
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