NYU CASA ITALIAN ZERILLI MARIMO’ PRESENTS:


'LA CANTATA DI NATALE from the production "LA CANTATA DEI PASTORI"

(The Shepherd's Cantata)

 

December 18 2019 at 7:00pm

24 West 12 Street – RSVP needed

Celebrating I GIULLARI DI PIAZZA 40th Anniversary

and home base at New York University

 

honoring Prof. Stefano Albertini and Kostja Kovic

 

A Neapolitan Renaissance Christmas show - Based on the Traditional Southern Italian Play Written by Andrea Perrucci in the 17th century and still performed annually in the environs of Naples.  

Told by masked character of Commedia dell”Arte, narrated in English by LA BEFANA (the Good Witch of Christmas) featuring  the Italian Bagpipe.

 

The concert will feature the southern Italian traditional Christmas music of the show, narrated by la Befana.

The story of the play is set just before the birth Christ, during Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem, and the devil has dispatched his demons to stop the Savior's birth. Their escapades are entwined with those of Razzullo, one of the Pulcinella masks here depicted as a comic, mischievous Neapolitan scribe to is always hungry. 

Conjuring up tempests, dragons and other unseemly tricks, the demons try to do away with the play's characters but all are under the Angel Gabriel's protection and the holy couple finally reaches Bethlehem. Before good triumphs over evil, there is an incredible clash, in dance between the archangel and the devil and a grotesque, but humorous, depiction of heaven and hell.

I Giullari di Piazza will be celebrating their 40th anniversary! and this production was first presented at NYU in 1984 with the sponsorship of the Italian department, where the company was in residence for 10 years.

 Compilation of pictures

The cast includes:

Artistic director Alessandra Belloni also in the role  of Mary -mezzo soprano, percussion, 

Max Mc Guire – as la Befana 

 Joe Deninzon – devil, violin

Susan Eberenz flute - piccolo recorders 

Wilson Montuori or Enrico Granafei - classical guitar 

Serena Davini - percussion

Mark Mindek Archangel Gabriel on stilts

James Karcher – Devil sword fighter 

 Alex Ross, The New York Times
"A musical play presented by the traditional Italian group I Giullari di Piazza (is) a rarity among Christmas programs; it somehow manages to be both riotously entertaining and   curiously haunting, even profound......a vibrant and uproarious performance."

Jon Pareles The New York Times

The music, directed by John La Barbera, is folkish, aiming for vitality above precision and often achieving both. The adaptation, by the troupe's director, Alessandra Belloni, is geared for action rather than quiet piety; in a climactic battle, Miss Belloni as Maria beat a large drum and sang out while the Angel Gabriel  took on the dragon. Giuseppe de Falco as Razzullo (and Vincenzo Corrao as the birdlike Sarchiapone)  shared slapstick duties.

 

Upcoming Events

Annual Voyage of the Black Madonna Tour in Campania

Exact dates TBD! Summer 2023 Campania, Italy

EXACT DATES TBD-- Coming Summer 2023!! This retreat will be a full immersion into the ancient drumming traditions and devotional chants in Honor of the Black Madonna, which can only be truly experienced in the sacred mountains and healing waters of the Mother Land. This powerful journey will introduce and transport students to a time and place where an unbroken and ancient tradition continues today with folk music, processions, devotional drumming, and dance.

Following Alessandra Belloni’s vision as part of the Black Madonna Center, this summer students will have the special opportunity to study and tour the area of Naples in the region of Campania. For details see: https://alessandrabelloni.com/voyage-of-the-black-madonna-tour-in-southern-italy

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