OPERA DEI PUPI | Le farse di Nofriu e Virticchiu

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Le farse di Nofriu e Virticchiu by and with Girolamo Cuticchio Senior
Palermo, Antonio Pasqualino International Puppet Museum

“Largu signori mei facemu rota … as soon as we made room in the crowd, the actors began to act.”
Thus began the representations of the carnival farce in Sicily, from which the vastasate originate, comic representations that are established in Sicily in the last thirty years of the eighteenth century and which take their name from their protagonists: the vastasi, or porters. This form of popular theater was born in Palermo, in Piazza Marina, where a company of commoners represented a large number of comedies and farces in the huts: improvisation and subject acting were grafted onto elementary plots. On the sidelines of these performances, some theater performances with string puppets were sometimes staged. With the end of the vastasate theater, the most important actors of the Palermo farce devote themselves to the staging of string puppet shows, shooting some of the most popular characters of the vastasate: Nofriu, Virticchiu, who have become puppets, meddle in the events of the paladins they become their squires and servants, or peasants. However, they always bring the point of view of the people onto the scene and in their true dialect they jokingly comment on the action, reversing the action and reversing the social hierarchies: for a day the poor rule over the rich.

Girolamo Cuticchio and Teresa Cuticchio Company. In January 1989, Girolamo Cuticchio together with his sons created the Teatro Arte Cuticchio company, based in Palermo. The children Teresa, Carmelo, Michele, Franco and Giacomo, have followed their father since childhood, from whom they learned the art. Carrying on this tradition with commitment and they obtained the 1st prize at the last “Sicilian Puppet Tournament”. They presented shows in different countries taking part in numerous international events and performing for important personalities including the President of the Republic Sandro Pertini, the director Martin Scorsese, the Russian dancer Nureyev. They have also collaborated with prestigious opera houses including the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, the Vittorio Emanuele in Messina and the Teatro Regio in Parma; in the latter, presenting itself with its own staging at the Verdi Festival. The Company also deals with the creation of puppets, scenes and costumes, using the traditional techniques of the ancient master craftsmen.

MY FESTIVAL PLAYER has selected 4 shows among the 80 (12 companies from all over Sicily belonging to the “Italian network of organizations for the protection, promotion and enhancement of the puppet opera”) scheduled by the XLV Festival of Morgana. The Festival is part of ATF, the Figure Theaters Association (member of Italiafestival).

The 4 shows scheduled on MY FESTIVAL PLAYER, out of the 80 planned by the Festival, will allow the public to attend shows with puppets belonging to different schools, which differ in the size of the puppets and in the maneuvering techniques.

The shows will be available free on demand on italiafestival.tv until the end of the Festival, 13 December 2020.

XLV Festival of Morgana
4> 13 December 2020
Acireale, Alcamo, Messina, Palermo, Syracuse, Sortino, Terrasini
The Festival di Morgana 2020, Sicily and the “magical objects”
like magnifying glasses to look at the world