Fondazione AIDA

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    The Gruffalo

    Gruffalò certainly needs no introduction. The character created by Julia Donaldson is Axel Scheffler the protagonist of the publications of the same name is now appreciated and known by thousands of children and parents all over the world thanks to the translations made in over 30 languages.

    From here to the stages of the theater it was a short step: there are in fact numerous transpositions for the theater of these texts.

    Therefore, The Gruffalò has become the protagonist of important theatrical productions. The tours have touched: England, Ireland, United States, Australia, South Africa, Germany and Israel with great public success. However, these shows have never been represented in our country. Aida Foundation has therefore decided to take up the challenge to propose it its own original version . While remaining faithful to the texts and iconography of the original illustrations, an entirely new musical show has been created. The goal is to bring the squares to the largest Italian squares.

    Collaborators

    To do this, the Aida Foundation can count on a consolidated and established network of collaborations: Santa Chiara Cultural Services Center , the Stable Theater of Veneto and the BSMT – Bernstein School of Musical in Bologna. The artistic experience in the field of family shows of Pino Costalunga and Manuel Renga that we intend to activate was also of great importance.

    Thanks to this intense work, the production of the new show The Gruffalò, scheduled for 2020, will once again be appreciated by our young audience and will result in an entertaining and at the same time educational show.

    Plot and notes by the playwright Pino Costalunga

    What are four young friends doing in a forest? They go to clean it up, you might say, since you see them at the beginning of the play just as they are doing it. But we have the doubt that they are going there to spend a few days and, above all, a few nights, camped out in a tent, waiting for the most beautiful moment of the day, when, around a fire, they will tell stories of fear. And what could be better than a forest at night for a good scary story?

    They will tell the story of a little mouse who, hungry, decides to go through the leafy forest full of pitfalls to find the acorn he likes so much. On the way, he meets three ugly mice who want to eat him: a fox, an owl and a snake. But the clever little mouse is shrewd in his thinking and knows just how to get by. With the help of his great imagination, he finds a solution that no one can imagine, not even himself, perhaps: a terrible monster whose name is well known to children: THE GRUFFALÒ.

    We will leave the delightful rhymes of the English writer intact and the actors will wear fantastic costumes that are based on the wonderful illustrations of the German designer. Children will easily recognize that text and will also enjoy the funny and original songs written especially for the show. The comic and mimic situations, as well as the dances, enrich the original tale.

    Perhaps some of the audience will leave the show wondering if that frightening monster really exists. Of course that monster exists in our story, but it is a monster that makes us laugh and he exists just to tell the children: “use your imagination, your intelligence and even a wild and leafy forest can become a place where it is fun to live”, at least for some time, at least for the time of childhood.

    Pippi Longstocking

    “You are a liar PippiLongstocking, but as a poet is. You never lie about feelings and above all about existence, but rather you invent stories simply out of a desire to tell, because you are generous.”
    Pino Costalunga

    The show

    Exactly 75 years ago, Astrid Lindgren gave her daughter Karin, for her ninth birthday, the storybook of the strange little girl with the upturned pigtails who lived all alone in a big house. And so PippiLongstocking was born. Direction and adaptation by MarinellaRolfart and PinoCostalunga. Sets, costumes and puppets by TjåsaGusfor, one of Sweden’s most important set designers, who has recreated her own micro-world: a sort of fantastic miniaturisation where the puppets (guided by the actors in full view, not hidden as in puppet theatre) are the real protagonists of the scene.

    The show narrates the story of Pippi, a little girl who is absolutely out of the box, and her friends through their carefree eyes. Pippi’s story unfolds from her arrival in the old house, Villa Villacolle, with a little monkey with the strange name of Mr Nilsson and a horse set up on the veranda, to her adventures with Annika and Tommy, her neighbours and playmates, in a colourful and amusing setting. The character’s traits have inspired many Swedish bestsellers, including LisbethSalander from Stieg Larsson’s Millenium saga.

    During the production, Olof Nyman, the husband of Karin, Astrid Lindgren’s daughter and representative of the heirs, reviewed the dramaturgy of the text and confirmed its authenticity. Karin herself participated in the general rehearsals, approving its authenticity and confirming its distribution in Italy.

    Director’s notes

    PinoCostalunga, talking about this character, says: Thank you Pippi because you have shown that imagination, the ability to dream and invent is really the most important thing. You are a liar, PippiLongstocking, but as a poet is. You never lie about feelings and especially about existence, but rather you invent stories simply out of a desire to tell, because you are generous. (…) You have never hidden from children that there is evil and suffering in the world (…), but you have always said everything with sympathy and sweetness through the power of your crazy inventions.

     

     

    Fairy Tales on the Phone

    The show

    But where are the stories full of fantasy that the accountant Bianchi used to tell on the phone to his little girl every night before she fell asleep? What happened to the sweet chocolate streets? The very tasty ice cream palaces? The paradoxical times tables? Maybe they got trapped in the very phone that Giovannino found in the basement. Lost in its threads, they can no longer get out.

     

    Stories, those of Rodari, who do not know the passage of time, which preserve unchanged the original qualities of elegance, irony and freshness that have always been the strengths of that inexhaustible capacity for invention that he knew how to combine with the punctual, serious and civil observation
    of contemporary reality. Stories that in Fairy Tales on the Phone willcome back to life on stage in a real musical carousel in the form of songs, short stories, nursery rhymes and small variety numbers.

     

    The theatrical adaptation and the direction are signed by Raffaele Latagliata , who has a long professional career as an actor and director behind him in both prose and musical theater, who also edited the original dramaturgy together with Pino Costalunga , an expert author of children’s literature.

     

    The music, all original , were composed by Maestro Valentino Corvino , in his first experience as a composer of a musical comedy. Corvino has put his experience at the service of a show that plays with various musical genres, among these, in particular, he looks at the grace and delicacy of Quartetto Cetra. It is precisely starting from the catchy songs, from the cheerful lyrics but with refined arrangements of the legendary quartet (remember the interpretation of “The fables where they are” by the famous Lucia Mannucci) that the fables will come back to life on the scene, awakening the desire to invent and to play with the imagination.

     

    The dramaturgical structure of this musical – explains Maestro Corvino – lines up fairy tales that create many funny and often surreal little worlds. This material gave me the inspiration to compose drawing on the most diverse musical languages in a continuous exercise of style that was
    as functional as possible to the story. But, as happens in Rodari’s texts, moments linked to a more intimate expression alternate with the lightness of much of the musical narration, because the ultimate goal of these fables is not pure entertainment but the education of the youngest
    reflection and the use of imagination “.

     

    Synopsis

    On stage Giovannino, a particularly curious boy with a strong imagination, found his mother’s old telephone in the basement; the very phone to which, when she was a child, her grandfather used to call her to tell her a story every night before going to sleep. But where are all these stories that the mother no longer remembers, Giovannino wonders. Maybe they’re still in there, stored in the phone’s memory. But that strange device is so complicated with that strange disc keyboard. And so, to get help, Giovannino decided to take him to be repaired in an old used phone shop: the Fix Phones. Here he will meet four strange characters (the surly Count Cornetta, the bizarre Madame Phonè, the bewildered Biancapagina and the enterprising Gettone) thanks to whom the fairy tales will magically come to life.

    Music

    Listen to the music of Fairy Tales on the Phone on Spotify , AppleMusic and on other music streaming platforms!

    Three little pigs

    The show

    At first glance it might seem like the classic story of the three little pigs, each with his own house, apple tree, and chimney from which the bad wolf that persecutes them descends. If it weren’t that, at the beginning of the story, the wolf shows up at the selections of a well-known musical television program, sings his hit song, but… is not accepted! If it weren’t for the fact that the wolf, going the wrong way, arrives at a brick house where he thinks he’ll find a little pig, but instead he comes out… an old woman, who is none other than Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother (whom this wolf has no intention of eating!). If it weren’t also that the three little pigs, once they’ve put the wolf to flight, decide to take up an artistic career and found a group, the “Pig Band”.

    Three almost invisible actors animate five puppets. They sing, dance, jump, run (some more, some less…) on a green hill that gradually turns into a house of straw, wood and brick, a country road and an apple tree. A grandmother in the wrong story (or will she in the right one and everyone else out of place?), three cheerful little pigs and a wolf, who has only one passion (that of music) and one fear (that of children)!

    The Wizard of Oz

    The show

    Dorothy, a child who lives in Kansas with her uncles, is thrown by a sudden cyclone in a country populated by strange characters.She lands in the village of Succhialimoni, some bizarre little men who thank her for having killed the wicked Witch of the East, crushed by the fall of the house.

    Her only thought is to return home, but it seems that the only one who can help her is the Wizard of Oz.Along the way that will lead her to the Wizard, Dorothy meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion.Dorothy’s new friends think they have a void to fill, so they need the intervention of the Wizard of Oz.The Scarecrow believes he needs a brain, the Tin Woodman a heart and the Lion of courage, while Dorothy wants nothing more than to return to her country.

    During the journey, each of them, facing their fears to overcome the obstacles they will encounter along the way, will show that they already possess what they thought they lacked.

    Turning directly to Baum’s text, we tried to highlight the most “fantastic” aspect linked to that experience through which we all went through.

    That dangerous and tortuous path which is growing up, becoming great.

    It definitely takes brain, heart and courage!

     

    Director’s notes

    “The journey that little Dorothy makes to the country of Oz, together with her little dog Toto and the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion, is not only a journey that starts from Kansas (that is, from a real state in America ) to arrive in a fantastic country, but it is also a journey into Fantasy and with Fantasy. And what can be better, in a theatrical show, than using the THEATER to undertake this wonderful journey? Can it be done? Imagine on stage those strange machines that, at that time when there were no computers or speakers, were used precisely in the Theater to reproduce sound. The beautiful wind machine, for example, a kind of windmill rustling wood on a canvas, or the thunder machines, sheet metal plates hung on a wooden easel. Imagine that those machines are also capable of making you discover different places a little at a time and of knowing how to create colorful and fantastic landscapes. Immagine the character of the story that jump out as if by magic from the old twisted ropes or from the old dusty trunks. Then imagine in that Theater three actors who start playing with those objects that have become beautiful puppets and with those machines full of magical and mysterious sounds and effects. Three actors who use not only the word, but also and above all the body with its rhythm and its thousand possibilities. A game very similar to what children play. This will be our theatrical game, a game that today’s children sometimes seem to have forgotten. Which has been replaced by all those electronic “devilry” – useful in the theater as they are often also useful for children – but which seem to have dulled the imagination and creative force of our “I child”, both in theater and in life. A show with actors and puppets on stage, suitable for everyone from 4 years old. ”

    Pino Costalunga – director

     

    One of the most beautiful fairy tales for children, taken from the famous story by L. Frank Baum which retains its charm intact over time.A wonderful journey, in that dangerous and tortuous path that is growing up, becoming great.It definitely takes brain, heart and courage!

     

    The Jungle Book

    The show

    What is it? Where exactly is it located? What’s in the jungle? Imagining it may be simple but, in fact, explaining the jungle to a child is a little less so.

    Here then, to help us, are the adventures of little Mowgli who lives in the Indian jungle. Mowgli is the man cub that the terrible Lame Tiger Shere Khan has captured and wants to eat. Saved by a couple of wolves who save him from the ravenous feline bite, it is in the Jungle that all his adventures take place and it is always there that his great friendships are born, especially with Baloo the Bear and Bagheera the Panther. The Jungle is a friend, but it is often dangerous, and Mowgli, despite the teachings of Baloo and the Panther Bagheera, often puts his life at risk. So what distinguishes him and what makes him special compared to the other animals and inhabitants of the Jungle? One thing that is precious to him, but also dangerous: his eyes!

    It is easy to understand from all this that the Jungle can be a metaphor, that the jungle can be out there, everywhere, with all the beautiful adventures to be had, with all the extraordinary friendships, but also with its dangers and its fears.

    And this is what our theatrical version of Kipling’s famous tale wants to tell children, giving them more keys to interpretation while remaining faithful to the magnificent story that the book by the English author, Nobel Prize winner in 1907, and the cartoon version by Walt Disney have made famous throughout the world.

     

    Baron Lamberto was there twice

    The show is a repetition of the short story by Rodari “Twice Upon a Time there was a Baron called Lamberto”.

    On stage we have two characters: the Baron’s Butler, Anselmo – played by PinoCostalunga – and Silvia Bonanni, a skilled illustrator.

    Before the eyes of the viewer, the amusing story of Baron Lamberto will come to life, who pays six servants to repeat his name over and over again – he was told by an Arab saint that repeating someone’s name meant keeping them alive.

    He himself is also a victim of the evil nephew who aspires to his wealth, who does not even renounce to knock outone by one all the servants assigned to “mention” his uncle.

    With the help of many colored sheets, cardboard boxes and a small camera, Silvia will reconstruct the strange story of the Old Baron who lived on the island of San Giulio, on Lake Orta.

    Silvia Bonanni

    A talented Milanese illustrator who has brought many of her works abroad and published many books for children.

    Expert in the technique of collage, skilled creator of “puppets” and simple figures, she also created the illustrations for a re-edition of “To make a table” by Gianni Rodari.

    Pino Costalunga

    With his own words, and those of Rodari, he gives voice to Silvia’s unmistakable style constructions and illustrations, continuously involving the children who will find themselves reconstructing the story together with our two protagonists.

    Curated by Pino Costalunga and Silvia Bonanni.

    Taken from the homonymous book by Gianni Rodari

     

    The Baron of Münchhausen

    The show

    The elusive travels of this officer who actually lived in the 18th century.

    An extraordinary hero in shining armour and without fear who faces every paradoxical situation with invincible strength and calm, are the subject of this new show.

    In the show some of these adventures are filmed in an age of reason and more consolidated feelings, in a period where it is often difficult to distinguish the false from the true, where the “fake news” are mistaken for proven truths.

    Perhaps also due to an excess of technology and an abundance of information.

    And among the folds of that yellowed paper, thanks to a game of roles between Baron and servant, past and present, we discover that the ‘adventures’ of the Baron represent the fantastic and disordered mixture of the eighteenth century.

    A century in which man put his foot and hand to get out different from what he was before.

    Transformed, ‘revolutionized’, with a vessel full of achievements, but also inexorable unknowns.

    So if on the one hand the Baron of Münchhausen is the result of an unlimited phantasmagoria, on the other his adventures refer to the reality of an era of incessant activity, characterized by the triumph of reason, in which the first pioneering extra-continental and new journeys extraordinary scientific discoveriestake place.

    Director’s Note

    Confronting today – explains Pino Costalunga -with that skilled “narrator”, as well as courageous “lie teller” that is the Baron of Münchhausen, means trying to draw a line between credulity and fantastic imagery, between reality and its representation, between the ability to invent for fun and for malice “.

    The trips to the moon, two actually and long before Armstrong, the one in Russia, where you can find a horse hanging from a bell tower, and the meeting with Vulcan and Venus are just some of the numerous adventures of the Baron of Münchhausen, the only one able to fly on cannon balls.

     

    A story in the rhythm of Jazz

    In our show the protagonists will be some fables that the black slaves of America told each other.
    These stories, in fact, served to exorcise fears and worries, help each other in the work and soften the fatigue with sounds, rhythms and songs, giving life to that musical form that had so much success not only in America but all over the world.

    The words to explain some typical figures of Jazz in a continuous dialogue between actor and musical instruments.
    In fact, in Jazz, from the very beginning, from the earliest blues forms, there has always been dialogue, between those who intoned and those who answered, those who asked and those who answered.

    The children of the audience, and the adults with them, will always be actively involved in this scenic play.
    They will also become part of this great concert for Actor and Musical Instruments made especially to tell and explain jazz even to the little ones with simplicity, naturalness and fun.

    Is it possible to tell jazz to children like telling a story or reading a nursery rhyme?
    Of course it is, and to do that we will use words and music.

     

    Peter and the wolf

    Three bungling actors stage, or rather try to do so, the well-known musical fable “Peter and the Wolf” by Sergej Prokofev.

    Already from how complicated the first problems begin, because the three have not really studied!

    They are therefore forced to improvise and invent odd ideas, seeking the complicity of the public, to find their way around cats, ducks, wolves, horns and clarinets.

    Fortunately, the figure of the Great Narrator reigns undisputed and, with his voice, guides them safely along the path of the fairy tale.

    But the three actors, a bit of a clown and a bit of an art comic, are so distracted and confused that they don’t follow the story well.

    They try to make risky predictions about the fates of the protagonists of the fairy tale and often will have to ask the children for help to better understand the story and allow the Great Narrator to continue.

    Like curious children, the three actors will try to reinvent the characters: “How will the character of the wolf change if instead of entrusting him to the horns we make him play the strings?”.

    And playing together with the audience in an imaginary orchestra, they will discover that in “Peter and the Wolf” the important thing is that the invented story comes to terms with music and its various expressive moments.

    Prokofev wrote his musical fairy tale with a specific educational purpose: to introduce children to the instruments of the orchestra, their sound and their expressive character.

    This is why he associated a character and a particular musical motif to each instrument.

    The narrator of the show, “the Great Narrator”, is the voice of Dario Fo who, with his theatrical genius, revisits the original fairy tale giving it a new youth.

    On stage the three actors use jokes and gags to build a bridge between the story and the audience.

    Their confusion becomes a pretext to point out and underline important didactic passages.

    The mechanism of complicity with the public makes it so that the children themselves explain, playing the role of teachers for these three little students.

    Every little spectator can therefore, in moments of interaction, give help, clarifications and suggestions, thus becoming the protagonist of a learning path.

    Show inspired by the musical fable of Sergej Prokofev, recorded by the Verdi Orchestra of Milan courtesy of the Amadeus magazine, with the unforgettable voice of Dario Fo in the role of the Great Narrator and the scenes and illustrations by Emanuele Luzzati

    Show also available in English

     

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