The pianist-composer Ludovico Einaudi likes to keep a low profile. While his concerts sell out venues like the Teatro alla Scala and the Royal Albert Hall, his astronomically greater presence is subliminal; whether or not you have ever heard his name, his gentle, nominally classical, nearly featureless easy listening is part of the air our century breathes. (Check out his Spotify numbers, which are through the roof.) Strange to think of Einaudi taking on the slow-motion humanitarian train wreck of migration, yet plainly his heart was in his work. The principal characters of Winter Journey, set to a libretto by the cheerless Irish novelist Colm Tóibín, are an African desperate to cross the perilous Mediterranean and the woman and child he has left behind. “It is a journey toward a country where they will find hostility, a cold welcome or perhaps no welcome at all, to a place where there is a winter of the soul,” Einaudi told the New York Times before the premiere in Palermo last year. “It is a journey to a hostile world in which your soul can die.” —M.G.
Teatro di San Carlo Via San Carlo, 98, 80132 Napoli NA, Italy Get Directions »