In Italian culture, a curse has always played a major role in society and the means by which bad luck (or worse) is brought upon another. A curse placed on someone was not taken lightly. It kindled the superstitious fears of individuals. Italians placed curses many ways, with the most common in the form of the Malocchi0 (Evil Eye).
So of course, curses play in role in all facets of Italian culture, including opera and film. Here are just a few brief examples.
In Verdi’s Rigoletto, the Court Jester, Rigoletto, who was cursed at the beginning of the opera by the father of a young woman, remembers the curse as his own daughter dies.
Or in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, there is Santuzza’s curse to Turridu which makes your hair stand up as she wishes him a terrible Easter.
And lastly, we turn to film. Moonstruck of course, which shows the Malocchio is alive and well in the Italian-American societies.
So the next time you are watching a film or an opera in which Italians play a role, pay attention and see if they discuss a curse or the evil eye.
Author of Tempesta’s Dream and A Song for Bellafortuna