(Still unperformed in English)

Premio Riccione Teatro, 1999
(First Prize, ex-aequo, Riccione - Italy)

Claretta Petacci                           Rachele Guidi Mussolini

Benito Mussolini and Claretta Petacci hanged by their feet in Piazzale Loreto

(Brief synopsis)  

August, 1957, Predappio, Romagna.
Rachele, Mussolini's widow, is an energetic white-haired 67 year-old. For the last 12 years she has been waging a campaign against the Italian State to have the secreted body of her husband returned to her. This time it seems the government has agreed to it. But at the cemetery she is surprised to see Vincenzo Agnesina, Inspector of Police, arriving with Mussolini's body in a coffin disguised as the back seat of his packard!
It has been Agnesina's job for the last 12 years to keep the body hidden and shifting it all over Italy to avoid detection. Agnesina is utterly relieved to get rid of the bloody thing. However he couldn't have been more wrong! The fiery Rachele refuses to sign the `receipt' for the coffin. She demands that it be opened and its contents checked. At the same time Rachele has lived with the torment that her husband `chose` to run away - and die - with his mistress, Claretta Petacci.
Now that Rachele has receveid his dead body can she reconcile hereself with the memory a man who betrayed her for another woman?
With recurrent flashbacks, Rachele's mind goes back to maybe the worst day of her life as the Duce's wife. That day, in 1944, she decided to go and dig Claretta out of nearby Villa Fiordaliso, put an end to her relationship with her husband and drive her out of the Social Fascist Republic. Mussolini is afraid that a clash between the two women would escalate his affair from a domestic to a political issue. Buffarini, his Minister of Internal Affairs, and Spoegler, Claretta's German bodyguard, are the men with the mission to stop the furious Rachele from meeting Claretta.
EventualIy, the Mother of Fascism and the Whore of Fascism face each other for the first and last time. The battle for the Duce's `real' love between the two is so fierce that even eclipses the Social-Fascist Republic's defeat by the advancing Allied forces and Resistance groups.
In the end Inspector Agnesina manages to convince Rachele to sign for the Duce's body. At last Rachele has exorcised the ghosts of her past. Her husband might have 'chosen' to die with Claretta, but Rachele finds consolation in the fact that, once she herself will be dead, it will be with her that her husband will be sharing the family tomb for as long time and man will allow them.

Go to the Italian world premiere
Vai alla prima mondiale italiana

Il testo italiano di  OPERA BUFFA!
The Italian text of OPERA BUFFA!