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la Biennale di Venezia
Main Visual Sezione Teatro EN (new)


40th International Theatre Festival


20th February > 8th March 2009

L'impresario delle Smirne

Teatro Malibran
Saturday February 21 at 8:30 p.m.
and from February 22 to March 1
L’impresario delle Smirne [world premiere]
by Carlo Goldoni
directed by Luca De Fusco
original music Nino Rota
adapted by Luca De Fusco, Antonio Di Pofi
cast Eros Pagni (Alì), Alberto Fasoli (Beltrame), Max Malatesta (Conte Lasca) , Paolo Serra (Carluccio), Gaia Aprea (Lucrezia), Enzo Turrin (Nibbio), Anita Bartolucci (Tognina), Piergiorgio Fasolo (Pasqualino), Giovanna Mangiù (Maccario), Alvia Reale (Annina), Matteo Mauri (a servant)
clarinet Giorgio Lavorato, viola Marco Albano, piano Antonio Di Pofi
conductor Antonio Di Pofi
lighting design Emidio Benezzi
sets Antonio Fiorentino
costumes Maurizio Millenotti
production Teatro Stabile del Veneto, Teatro Stabile di Catania, Fondazione Antonveneta
with the support of La Biennale di Venezia
in collaboration with the Fondazione Teatro La Fenice
For a long time Luca De Fusco had been looking for a dimension of “musical theatre” that would be suitable for a Teatro Stabile today, where the genres are far less divided by rigid boundaries than they were fifty years ago. And Goldoni’s plays lend themselves well to a musical version, because the great Venetian playwright’s geometric and choral dimension is very similar to that of a musical score.
“I owe it to my friend Eros Pagni, explains De Fusco, if these considerations have finally led to a concrete realization. Eros remembered the emotion of an evening at the Teatro La Fenice in 1957, when he attended a brilliant edition of L’impresario delle Smirne directed by Luchino Visconti, with music by Nino Rota. Many years later, when he saw the movie The Godfather, Eros recognized in a famous melody a new version of an aria in L’Impresario. That prompted us to search for Rota’s score, which was facilitated by the existence of the Rota Archive at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini. The discovery of that score made this show possible”.
The Teatro Stabile del Veneto is accompanied in this production – which will be presented at the height of Carnival as part of the Theatre Festival of the Venice Biennale – by the Teatro Stabile di Catania, the Teatro La Fenice and the Biennale itself, in a significant synergetic effort between Venetian institutions. Our thanks go to the Teatro di Genova as well, which collaborated in making it possible to enjoy the crucial presence of the great Eros Pagni in a company that includes Gaia Aprea, Max Malatesta, Anita Bartolucci Piergiorgio Fasolo, Enzo Turrin.
The play tells the story of an unlikely scruffy company in the Fifties that wants to bring a floor show set in the eighteenth century to Smyrne, a parallel to the story imagined by Goldoni who wrote about the adventures of a third-class opera company. “I was struck by the analogies between the characters of L’Impresario and the ones that people the world of Fellini’s early movies – underlines De Fusco – and the precision with which Goldoni draws his social sketches is quite surprising, very similar to the characters in Fellini’s films. La Strada or The Nights of Cabiria, for example."
For the first time De Fusco stages a “metatheatrical” play, sustained by the breeziness of two geniuses such as Rota and Fellini, who were capable of creating a dimension of “happy melancholy” like no one else. L’impresario delle Smirne will be entirely set in a theatre, replacing the hotel rooms imagined by Goldoni with the company’s dressing rooms, in a production that is completely red – from the costumes by Maurizio Millenotti to the sets by Antonio Fiorentino. The “neo-eighteenth-century”-style music written by Nino Rota for Visconti’s L’Impresario will be heard in the third act, while during the rest of the performance, the public will have the pleasure of hearing the famous melodies that the master wrote for the soundtracks of Federico Fellini’s films.