Duration: 1 hour 50 minutes with interval
The idea of using marionettes to represent the words and images of Dante dates back a few decades, when at the end of the 80s Eugenio Monti Colla asked the then recently formed workshops to design and create the first materials for a possible staging. Now, four years on from his death, the Carlo Colla & Figli Company is finally staging this project. How is it possible to take on a work of such enormity and of a dimension totally out of scale with that of a marionette?
The Carlo Colla & Figli Company has started with this particular dimension, using the marionette as a unit of measurement not only for a matter of proportion, but also, and above all, for the evocative and metaphorical capacities of the small wooden actors, which are moved from a distance by the puppeteers and the writer, and which prove to be the true demiurges of an situation that exists and moves with a form of empathy that allows a reading of “our” reality from a safe distance. The marionette thus becomes the meter for understanding how to cut and reduce the original verses, which episodes to represent and which situations can be highlighted by this extremely particular form of theatrical language. The marionettes take the spectators by the land and lead them through the moments of Date's Inferno, experiencing the atmosphere of Purgatory and finally ascending to Heaven, interpreted as an “apotheosis” typical of the most traditional of marionette plays. As well as the writing of the scripts based on the notes by Eugenio Monti Colla, the new staging includes a score composed by Danilo Lorenzini, the creation of new sculptures, new marionettes and new costumes, and the study and creation of new sets, as well as an evolved study of the techniques of marionette movement, which also draws on characteristics and animation techniques from other forms of figure theatre, in a project that has involved the entire Company under the direction and project coordination of Franco Citterio and Giovanni Schiavolin.
The play has the support of the National Committee for celebrations surrounding the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri, as part of the “Dante delle Marionette” project, which also provides for the exhibition “Le figure di Dante” at the MUTEF, the Museum of Figure Theatre in Milan and the figure theatre review “Dante in baracca”, organised in June/July at the Stabilimento Base located in the Ex-Ansaldo works.
Teatro Grassi, from 8 to 20 June 2021
Una divina commedia
abridged and adapted for puppets from notes by Eugenio Monti Colla
based on the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
music by Danilo Lorenzini
sets , sculpture and lighting by Franco Citterio
costumes by Cecilia di Marco and Maria Grazia Citterio created by the Company Tailoring Shop
puppeteers Franco Citterio, Maria Grazia Citterio, Piero Corbella, Camillo Cosulich, Debora Coviello, Carlo Decio, Cecilia Di Marco, Tiziano Marcolegio, Pietro Monti, Giovanni Schiavolin, Paolo Sette
apprentice puppeteers Veronica Lattuada, Michela Mantegazza
voices Loredana Alfieri, Marco Balbi, Carlo Decio, Lisa Mazzotti, Riccardo Peroni, Gianni Quillico, Franco Sangermano
Fiando Ensemble conducted by Marco Seco
musical artistic director Daniele Sozzani Desperati
musicians flute/piccolo:Ilaria Ronchi; first clarinet: Filipe Esteves; second clarinet/bass clarinet: Flavio Fazio; tenor saxophone: Luca Volontè; trumpet: Daniele Moretto; horn: Ezio Rovetta; piano: Luca Esposito; soprano: Rosy Anoush Svazlian; theremin: Daniele Sozzani Desperati; cello: Fabio Moreddu
sound technician Paolo Sportelli - Il Borgo della Musica – Milano
recorded at the “Dario Fo e Franca Rame” Palazzina Liberty in Milan
technical director Tiziano Marcolegio
directed by Franco Citterio and Giovanni Schiavolin
A new 2021 ASSOCIAZIONE GRUPPORIANI – Municipality of Milan – Teatro Convenzionato Next Laboratorio delle Idee – Lombardy Region production
Produced with the support of the National Committee for celebrations surrounding the 700th anniversary of the death of Dante Alighieri