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“Bernadette de Lourdes” comes to Rome for the Jubilee of 2025

bernadette, lourdes, spectacle

Twin music

Hugues Lefèvre - published on 02/27/24

The musical Bernadette de Lourdes will be performed in Italian in Rome for the Jubilee 2025. A screening took place this week in a cinema in the Eternal City.

After winning over 200,000 spectators in France, the musical “Bernadette de Lourdes” is about to cross the Alps. On the occasion of the Jubilee of 2025, which is expected to attract over 30 million pilgrims to Rome, “il musical” — as it’s known in Italian — will be performed just a stone’s throw from St. Peter’s Basilica, at the Auditorium della Conciliazione.

For a month, from January 16 to February 16, 2025, residents and visitors to Rome will be able to hear and see the story of the little shepherdess to whom the Virgin Mary appeared 18 times in 1858. The show will then travel to other major Italian cities, including Naples, Bari, Milan and Florence. 

Adaptations in various languages

“The story of Bernadette is perhaps better known in Italy than in France,” said Roberto Ciurleo, co-producer of the project, in a cinema where Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, vicar of Rome, was present for the preview. Noting Italians’ love for the Grotto of Massabielle, he admitted that he had “always had the feeling that this show was made for Italy, and for the whole world.” An American version of Bernadette de Lourdes is in the pipeline, as are Polish and Spanish versions, announced Eléonore de Galard, the show’s other producer.

On Thursday evening, guests were shown a recording of the musical with Italian subtitles. Vincenzo Incenzo, an Italian librettist and singer-songwriter, adapted the libretto into Dante’s language. Before the showing, he expressed his pride at having worked on the music composed by French singer Grégoire. “These songs are so beautiful in the original language that I made sure to respect the transcription as much as possible. I made every effort to preserve the sound and the meter.”

A source of inspiration

Incenzo is convinced that the story of Bernadette de Lourdes can inspire many people “at a time when there are no longer any role models” and when it’s difficult for young people to “go against the tide.” For him, the show bears witness to the way Bernadette “doesn’t go to the sea, but rather to the spring.”

Following the screening, some of the show’s Italian cast took to the stage, including Gaia di Fusco, who will play Bernadette Soubirous. She, too, said she was struck by the tenacity of the 14-year-old girl who refused to give in to the many pressures from her family, Church leaders, and above all, the authorities. French actor, singer, and comedian David Bàn, who plays Bernadette’s father in the French version, treated the audience to an extract from a song in the show. Bán will once again play the role of François Soubirous … but this time under the skies of Rome.

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