fbpx Biennale Musica 2022 | Giorgio Battistelli - Experimentum Mundi
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Giorgio Battistelli - Experimentum Mundi

Year / Length:1981, 60’
Subtitle:Music theatre for one actor, four women's voices, sixteen craftsmen and solo percussion
Libretto:Giorgio Battistelli after the Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers by Denis Diderot and Jean Le Rond D’Alembert
Actor:Peppe Servillo
Percussion:Nicola Raffone
Female chorus:Paola Calcagni, Flora Molle, Rosa Pulcini, Anna Rita Severini
Coopers:Alfredo Sannibale, Fabio Sannibale
Carpenters:Roberto Festuccia, Alberto Casini
Baker:Marcello Di Palma
Pavers:Oberdan Carpineti, Pietro Melelli
Bricklayers:Ciro Paudice, Wladimiro Carpineti
Blacksmiths:Gianni Sannibale, Marco Sannibale
Knife sharpeners:Aldo Sardilli, Luigi Battistelli
Cobblers:Enzo Iezzi, Luigi Diotavelli
Stone-mason:Francesco Campanella
Light design:Angelo Linzalata
Conductor:Giorgio Battistelli
Sound engineer:La Biennale di Venezia - CIMM (Centro di Informatica Musicale Multimediale), Thierry Coduys


Experimentum Mundi is a music theatre work for sixteen artisans, four natural female voices, a percussionist and an actor. As the captions to the illustrations of Diderot and D’Alembert’s Enlightenment Encyclopédie describing the tools and the trades represented on the stage are recited, a veritable village of sounds arises page after page. The work is about Giorgio Battistelli’s home town, Albano Laziale, and about those who live and work there who, in Experimentum Mundi perform their own professions, occupations that are today on the brink of disappearing: the baker, the cobbler, the knife sharpeners, the carpenters, the coopers, the blacksmiths, the pavers, the stone-mason, the bricklayers, some accompanied by their wives, who make up the women’s choir. At the end of the performance, each artisan makes his own artefact on stage, in perfect synchrony with the musical and theatrical timings of the score, in a game of interlocking timbres and rhythms that extol the gestures moulded by an ancient tradition. It is a dramaturgy of work, a rite propitiating the halting of time, homage to a personal theatre of the memory.

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Biennale Musica
Biennale Musica