Fausto Romitelli (born 1963) was one of the most radical composers of his generation. He drew inspiration from Anglo-American subculture, had a love of the archaic and the spontaneity of pop music and found his favourite instrument in the electric guitar. His compositional style was based on the idea of forging sounds like smelted iron. His last work, the fifty-minute video-opera An Index of Metals for soprano, eleven-strong ensemble and three channel video, is based on a libretto by the writer Kenka Lèkovich and merges video sequences by Paolo Pachini and Léonardo Romoli to create a genre-crossing visual and acoustic experience for the senses.
Romitelli follows Lèkovich’s three-part poem Metalsushi and uses instruments from art music and rock music in the eleven-member, electronically amplified ensemble. An electronically filtered soprano is integrated into the ensemble and Romitelli eschews conventional stage action. Instead, the visual component of the work, which is conceived as a light show, consists of recorded images of the effects of light which are produced by metallic surfaces projected onto three screens. Romitelli wrote An Index of Metals in 2003 in the last days of his life as an active composer and lived long enough to see some of the first performances of the work himself. Fausto Romitelli died in Milan in 2004 at the age of 40 following a serious illness.