THE CANTERVILLE GHOST
Literary adaptation of the opera in original language by Oscar Wilde
musical in English language
target audience: junior high school students
Among the many phrases in the work of Oscar Wilde that made him famous there is one that may summarize best the vision on which he built his whole life: “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess “. This belief brought the Irish boy, born in Dublin in 1854, to assault the capital and to conquer it not only with his brilliant talent as a writer but with his refined lifestyle, with his sharp irony and his unbridled taste for excesses. In fact, Wilde lived beyond all limits and was always above his possibilities (even though in 1884 he married the wealthy Constance Lloyd). He was a dandy, poet, playwright, lecturer, arbiter elegantiae of the best society. Within four years he wrote four plays (Lady Windermere’s Fan, Salome, An ideal Husband, The importance of being Earnest) that made him the most fashionable theatrical author of his time. The London society worshiped him but a moment later turned his back completely on him because of the repeated scandals due to his homosexual relationships. The overwhelming passion for the young aristocrat Alfred Douglas brought him to prison and social ruin. Sentenced in 1895 to two years of forced labour, his comedies were banned from the stages, the friends repudiated him, his wife asked for divorce. When he went out of prison in 1897 he chose exile in Italy and France, where he died poor in 1900. Shortly before he died he declared: “Now that I know the meaning of life, I have nothing more to write. Life cannot be written: life can only be lived “.
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