Dante & the Invention of Hell

Dante & the Invention of Hell


Sky Arts goes in search of la dolce vita this week with a clutch of programmes exploring all aspects of Italian culture, from the Renaissance masters via backstage opera secrets at La Scala to one of the great Italian cinema sirens, Claudia Cardinale. The season kicks off with two very different programmes: Dante and the Invention of Hell at 8pm looks at the long-lasting influence of the 14th-century poet’s masterpiece Inferno, which recounts an allegorical journey through Hell. It’s very po-faced: all moody lighting, and a hefty use of interpretive dance.
It’s followed at 9pm by a seriously lush celebration of the music of Italian cinema, as Josh Groban, Renée Fleming and Joshua Bell join the New York Philharmonic to perform work by the likes of Nino Rota and Ennio Morricone.

And if you can’t resist yet more Italian movie music, the evening concludes with a showing of Roberto Benigni’s weep-fest Life Is Beautiful at 11pm: Nicola Piovani won an Oscar for his moving score.


The themes, historical context and far-reaching influence of Dante Alighieri's Inferno, the first part of his 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy.