By Kevin Carrara
Nights Called Milan has just started in Osaka and in order to celebrate the success that it is receiving across the ocean, we wish to offer you an interview with Michele Gorlero, voice and essential figure of this initiative.
Milano Genius 2019 pursues the goal of enhance the relations between the two twinned cities of Milan and Osaka offering the Nights Called Milan initiative produced by the Italian Cultural Institute in Osaka alongside the Swissôtel Nankai in Osaka. This project is patronized by Municipality of Milan and is sponsored by iFOODQ and distributed by ASG-Produzioni, branch of Asian Studies Group.
Before the start of the interview, we offer you a quick introduction to Michele Gorlero made by Paolo Cacciato, Director of Asian Studies Group and focal member of the production of Milano Genius:
Michele Gorlero is an artist that has already started to focus his professional theatre experience in order to approach the Japanese culture and society. This can be seen thanks to his participation as co-protagonist in the Asian Studies Group theatre production Fushikaden. Michele immediately came to my mind for the Nights Called Milan initiative. I believe that his sensibility and skill will reach the Japanese public that will be bewitched by a play in which words’ meaning leaves the narration to voice and gesture.
What is your opinion regarding the Nights Called Milan event in which Milanese music meet the typical Lombardy’s cuisine?
I was born in San Remo, but I lived in Milan for twelve years, so I consider myself as an adopted Milanese. Regarding Nights Called Milan, I believe that Milanese cuisine and songwriting tradition are two excellence of our country. This experience focused on the cooperation between those aspects will allow the mutual growth for both of them, while emphasize the Milanese atmosphere and tradition. Nights Called Milan will permit to everyone, especially Japaneses, to experience emotions common to us Italians but that can be expressed differently in some societies. Our art is completely different from the one in Japan especially when talking about music. In fact, there are themes that are completely new to Japaneses and the first example of this statement that comes to my mind is the song “La Parola Io” of Gaber that translates in “The word I”. This play focus itself on the personal ego inside every person and I believe that it will allow to the guests of the Dinner Gala to experience and consider for their first time this particular and selfish aspect that the songwriter decided to analyze. I look forward to watching firsthand how Japaneses will relate to the Italian way of life.
Do you believe that the meaning of the track will be able to surpass the linguistic barrier and reach the Japanese public? Furthermore, what is your personal experience with Japan?
I see the linguistic barrier as a valuable addition to every play. I consider it as a thin veil that if used right can bring great profit to the show. The producers of Nights Called Milan had the brilliant idea to deliver to the guests a description in Japanese, English and Italian regarding the meaning of each song. Even if the attendants won’t have an exact translation, that will be for the better since this decision will allow them to bond the meaning of the texts given to them and the words that will come out of my mouth. This procedure is commonly used in abstract art exhibitions in order to give to people the opportunity to think critically and to give their own interpretation regarding what they see. Vecchioni, Jannacci and Gaber were three songwriters very experienced in transmitting emotions to their public. They were true masters of their sector and I believe that thanks to their work even Japaneses will be able to understand what we wish to communicate to them. Many of the songs chosen for Nights Called Milan contain a deep meaning that cannot be understood focusing only on their texts. For example, without spoiling anything too much, I will sing a particular track in a jolly way while my coworker, Alberto Mancini, will play his piano in order to express sadness and anguish. Thanks to those arrangements made by the songwriters, the public will surely make an inner analysis to give the song the meaning that suits it the most. This type of correlation is different for each person and is easily influenced by what we experienced during our life. I was always fascinated by Japan. In fact, I already had the pleasure to work in Italy in productions focused on the Japanese way of life like Fushikaden. This experience will be my first opportunity to export the Italian culture in Japan and I live this duty as a great honor and pleasure. I honestly believe that Nights Called Milan will be a wonderful experience.