Lettere a Nour

by Rachid Benzine
translation by Anna Bonalume
direction Giorgio Sangati
with Franco Branciaroli and Marina Occhionero
original music performed by Mothra

Fabio Mina flutes, duduk, electronics
Marco Zanotti prepared drum kit, electronics
Peppe Frana oud, electric oud, electronics

production Emilia Romagna Teatro Fondazione, Centro Teatrale Bresciano, Teatro De Gli Incamminati
in collaboration with Ravenna Festival
Italian premiere


“Why did not I foresee this?”: a father questions his daughter’s choice. Raised in a liberal and enlightened milieu, young Nour has fled to Syria to join the Islamic State jihadist she is in love with, and now her erudite Muslim father agonizes over her absurd decision. A chunk of his life has suddenly disappeared, gone off to kill in the name of a god who is also his. These complex issues are delicately tackled in an epistolary novel by French-Moroccan Islamologist Rachid Benzine, published in 2016, at a time when France was being severely hit by terrorism. Giorgio Sangati now adapts the novel for the stage in a national première featuring an unusual pair: a monstre sacré like Franco Branciaroli and a young white hope like Marina Occhionero, accompanied by the compositional acumen of Marco Zanotti.