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    Mozart, the little wizard of music

    The purpose of the initiative is to bring a wide audience of children, young people and adults closer to the character but above all to the music of Mozart, thanks to the magic of theatre and puppetry.

    At the centre of the narrative are Amadeus’ many journeys, the important and sometimes cumbersome figures in his life (his father Leopold, Archbishop Colloredo…), and above all his extraordinary ability to absorb all the music that came his way and return it in the form of masterpieces that miraculously combine great technical skill with an extraordinary immediacy of communication.

    The instrumental ensemble consists of violin, viola, clarinet, bassoon and harpsichord. On stage, the actors interact with figures and images: puppets and projections expand the theatrical possibilities of the story and the creativity supports, with imagination and intelligence, the musical disclosure.

    Mozart, the Little Sorcerer of Music was staged in 2015 as part of the Haydn Orchestra’s symphony season.

    Petruška, Münchhausen, Sissi, at Baby BoFè


    The show presents the fairy tale of Petruska, based on the ballet of the same name set to music by Russian composer Igor Stavinskij. The actors on the stage tell the story through their creation of the characters. They take their young audience on a journey through history but above all through the music which is an integral part of the narrative’s development. The music evokes the festive atmosphere of the fair highlighting the puppet theatre, where the performance is centered. The protagonists of the story are: the shy and romantic Petruska, the ballerina and the terrible Moor.

    Skilfully using playful, light and funny language, the puppet Petruska’s story tells about great shyness and small failures like those of the classic Clown character. A symbolic figure almost always a loser, but so loved by children.

    The puppets come alive and experience human feelings such as love and jealousy. They dance to the music that Stravinskij wrote for the legendary company of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. The show was staged for the first time in Paris in 1911 with the scenery and costumes by Benois and the choreography by Fokine.

    In a stylized reference to Russian folklore, the stage of the Antoniano theatre will have a copy of the original scenic layout, the Cyrillic writing of the puppet theatre and the bright colors of the costumes.

    The Baron of Münchhausen

    This performance highlights the daring adventures of the character created by Rudolf Eric Raspe accompanied by the baroque keyboard music of Johann Sebastian Bach, who lived in the same time as the real Baron Münchhausen. Amusing and exaggerated tales, such as those of the horse found hanging from the bell tower, the trip to the moon or the meeting with the Sultan, are some of the far-fetched stories of one of the most beloved characters in children’s literature.


    Different shaped pop-ups are used to animate the scene creating a world which transitions between dream and reality accompanied by a selection of Bach’s compositions such as: the English Suites, the Inventions for 3 voices, the Arias of the Goldberg Variations, the Preludes and Fugues of the Well-Tempered Clavier.

    Princess Sissi

    This is a narration of the extraordinary life of Princess Sissi accompanied by Johann Strauss’s most famous waltzes transcribed by Arnold Schoenberg. This new production realized at the Bologna Festival involves advanced students of the Accademia Orchestra Mozart. The fictional biographical events of the life of Princess Sissi, the future Empress of Austria, become an opportunity to discover the music of a great Viennese musician, Arnold Schoenberg. The audience made up of children discover the modern musical language of Schoenberg through his transcriptions of some waltzes by Johann Strauss and also his Six Easy Pieces for piano Op.19.

    These performances are not currently available

    Towards Oz. An enchanted world on the horizon

    Frank Baum believes he wrote The Wizard of Oz…only with the intent of “pleasing today’s children.”

    His tale is not immersed in a magical and initiatory atmosphere, let alone in fear. But behind this simple and serene façade, the story reveals implications no less important and formative than the values that animate fairy tales of magic.

    The symbolic protagonists of the book go towards the confirmation of what they already are, so our will, united with that of our fellow adventurers, will lead us to the discovery of our identity.

    The other world is where everything is possible, it is a “scenic” place where daily roles can be changed, giving freedom to utopia.

    In this ideal environment the magic of representation takes place. The story, the primitive idea is transformed into the container and the dramatic and iconographic roots of the initiatory passage, the fertility festival, Carnival and May emerge. The new season has as its symbol a young woman, the past time an old woman. The story begins and finds around it all the elements that can serve to develop. The characters take on the colours, the features and the costumes of the protagonists of the dramatic feasts. It is the theatre within the theatre. There is no dramatic action without contrast or struggle. But in every dramatic event there is a moment of reflection, a pause to mediate on what is happening.

    Not getting too carried away by fiction is a sign of maturity and serenity, but above all of sincerity. The magician is nothing but a puppet, a paper jester reduced to a puppet. Invention and reality mysteriously join in the sudden life that begins again, until the decision to become human again and until the fantastic reanimation of the puppet magician.

    Verso Oz, all’orizzonte un mondo incantato (Towards Oz, an enchanted world on the horizon) was premiered in Verona in 1988.

    The show, co-produced with the Civic Center of Syracuse and the Brooklyn Academy od Music (BAM) of New York, was also presented at the two centers in April 1989.

    Andersen, the journey of Hans

    ‘Andersen, The Journey of Hans’ is a show in two acts: ‘Guardando il cielo’ (Looking at the sky), music by Paolo Coggiola, and ‘Ascoltando la terra’ (Listening to the earth), music by Cesere Picco. It pays homage to the stories and the figure of Hans Christian Andersen: a man of heart and imagination, a great traveller who was able to paint with the use of an innovative language (…), a vision of the world that does not leave out unusual points of observation.

    Inspired by his fairy tales, ‘The Journey of Hans’ was born: a training course for young spectators, where stories and characters intertwine, becoming themselves part of the evolution of the story.


    “The Journey of Hans has the original structure of the two works for children ‘Guardando il cielo’ and ‘Ascoltando la terra’, quite distinct from each other, but complementary. In the first one, with music composed by Paolo Coggiola, I drew on some fairy tales that refer to the world of animals, nature and its magic (such as The Ugly Duckling, Mignolina, The Toad). In the second one, ‘Ascoltando la terra’, with music composed by Cesare Picco, I was inspired rather by fairy tales in which men and their world are at the center of the story choosing, this time on purpose, a more complex dramaturgy that addresses the young spectator who is already in the process of transformation. I had, however, a common thread: a shared fairy tale and the character of Hans (played by an actor).

    The metaphor of the flight is also another element in common between the two parts of ‘The Journey of Andersen’, but while in the first one (‘Looking at the sky’), I wanted to represent it through (…) the aspiration, the desire of growth, symbolized by the figure of the swan, in the second one (‘Listening to the earth’) the growth has already happened (…). This time it will be the flight of the angel that, always maintaining the symbolism of the wings, will close the circle of growth and transformation. ‘Il viaggio di Hans’ leads the young spectator by the hand through a journey of words, songs, stories and melodies which takes into account the not easy approach to the world of opera trying, however, not to compromise its integrity.

    And it is always with a view to approaching opera that I chose (…) ‘The travelling companion’, one of Andersen’s most important writings which quotes an ancient Danish legend, unwittingly approaching Gozzi and Giacomo Puccini’s ‘Turandot’. It demostrates that even opera is basically a game, passion and research that I would like, one day, to rediscover in tomorrow’s spectators”.                                           Monica Malavasi

    The music of Cesare Picco

    “Do you know Rap? What does Rap have to do,” you will say, “with Opera”? Well, it certainly has to do with the younger audience (…). And it also has to do with Hans. During the second scene, our young traveller tries to console a sad, sick child: what better way than to build her a little theatre with some strange characters and ‘rap’ a funny story? The small orchestra creates an ‘anomalous rhythmic beat’ (the original rap, the rap of the American ghettos, is built with electronic rhythms), but the curiosity, in this case, consists in having approached the classical timbres to a musical genre catalogued – erroneously – as ‘inferior’.

    Cesare Picco, pianist and composer. Since 1987 he has performed all over the world in solo piano concerts and has begun the activity of composer for orchestras and soloists.


    “The dramaturgical structure and the musical score of the two works that make up ‘The journey of Andersen’, the literary sources, Andersen’s fairy tales between tradition and personal emotions of the author have stimulated and suggested a possible and original staging. The fundamental idea is to harmoniously combine the various languages and expressive components of theatre and musical opera: the actors, their voices and their actions, the singers and musicians with their presence and their sounds, the images and figures with their suggestion and magic come together in a fragile balance, but of great energy. A great game is born that manifests itself on stage and tends to follow the dramaturgic trace: The Journey of Hans is a growth, a learning through encounters, emotions and experiences”.                    Gianni Franceschini

    History of the Soldier by Igor Stravinsky

    Histoire du Soldat is a text created as an “opera for actor, music and dance”. The magical atmospheres aroused by Ramuz’s text (and Afanasiev’s fairy tales) and Stravinsky’s essential and modern music seemed to us an incredibly fertile material for our way of making theatre.

    Of great importance is the favour and interest with which the Ente Lirico Arena di Verona, one of the most prestigious musical institutions in our country, has welcomed the idea and the project, thus opening the activity of the institution to a new public.

    We also underline the variety and importance of the artistic collaborations that have gathered around the show, a real “laboratory” for actors, musicians, scholars of the city, which offers a wide range of young and qualified presences. This edition of Histoire du Soldat was created by a team of young artists, in line with the role that our theatre wants to play in Verona’s cultural fabric.

    Histoire du Soldat was first staged in Verona in 1989.

    Christmas Song

    Dickens’s Christmas Carol like Collodi’s Pinocchio, Malot’s Nobody’s Boy, Twain’s Tom Sawyer or Molnar’s The Paul Street Boys: a childhood classic. The path to virtue, in literature, is paved with boredom, and young readers are potentially all Gianburrasca who do not like sermons: this is the reason why Pinocchio remains at the time better, for example, than Cuore by De Amicis. But Dickens was a pleasant moralist; he knew how to show us human fears and human repentance of his characters – even the negative ones like Scrooge. Moreover, he was able to squeeze out a few tears of emotion, and did not renounce to capture the comic sides of life, with that indulgent pity that comes from knowing the secrets of the heart. (…)

    Of this classic, I intended to make a new “free” and “updated” adaptation. In the sense that I intend  to project in today’s world, as it is, the story of the old usurer who, in the end, repented: so that The Christmas Carol would not be – or would not be only, as it could have become – an old picture book about London, (…) but would succeed in stimulating – in this case in the audience of very young people to whom the show is destined (…) some considerations on the world in which we live”.

    Ugo Ronfani

    Author of this “updated” theatrical version of A Christmas Carol dedicated to children and young people, has been a journalist, writer and teacher as well as theatre and literary critic of “Il giorno”, of which he was also vice-director.  He founded and directed the magazine of theatre and entertainment “Hystrio”.

    The Carnival of the Animals

    The show

    The show is the result of the encounter between music and puppets and between man and animals. In a theatre-gazebo of wonders, the ironic and pressing music generates a parade of animals in the festive atmosphere of carnival. A mime accompanies the spectators through a veritable exhibition of moving images.

    In the little theatre, different atmospheres follow one another, hyper-realistic animals or imaginary puppets appear, all wrapped up in the suggestion of music and the magic of the intervention of the invisible animators.

    Listening guide

    It is paradoxical how this Suite, written in a short space of time during a rest period in Vienna in 1866, made Camille Saint- Saens much more famous than other works.
    In his will, the composer only authorised its public performance after his death, because he was mistakenly convinced that the cheerful spirit of the score did not suit his reputation. The work was composed for Shrove Tuesday and performed for the first time a year later in a Parisian salon in the presence of friends, including Franz Liszt. On 26 February 1922, a year after his death, the Paris Auditorium was finally able to hear the content of this absolutely brilliant musical “prank”.

    Giovannin without fear

    It may happen – or perhaps it has already happened – that some characters from the old fairy tales get lost in this world full of voices, messages, which arrive at every moment of the day and night more to confuse than to inform or tell.

    It can happen that these characters forget where they came from and cannot find their way back home.

    But we have provided a home and a voice for the ancient protagonists of fairy tales. In Giovannin senza paura an actor and four musicians “armed” with flute, clarinet, trombone and percussion tell their stories of losing and finding themselves: The story of a wolf that looks very much like the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood, but is the wolf in another story that takes place on the shores of Lake Garda, or the story of an old woman who could be the witch in Hansel and Gretel, but is not, or the story of a certain Giovannin who, without any fear, has already appeared in many other stories and finds himself stronger and more cunning than ever in this one.

    A narration and theatrical action with one actor and four instruments on stage, with original music by Gabrio Taglietti to give voice and home to ancient Italian fairy tales.

    A co-production set up in collaboration with Oficina OCM Orchestra da Camera di Mantova, original music composed by Gabrio Taglietti, with the contribution of Fondazione Cariverona within the project “Fatti di Musica”.

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