Focus on Romeo Castellucci


The Center for Italian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, together with the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, the Department of Music, the Italian Section of the Dept. of Romance Languages, and the Cinema Studies Program, sponsored two academic events devoted to experimental theater and opera director Romeo Castellucci, renowned all over the world for his theatre based on the totality of the arts, aimed at creating a comprehensive perception of the artwork. His works have been presented in Philadelphia by Fringe Arts, which has pioneered in the United States the performances by his company, Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio.

The first event was presented on Monday, November 20, at 6pm at the Annenberg Center (Prince Theatre, free of charge). See here for full description and credits. It featured a full screening of the film Orphée et Eurydicethe opera by C.W. Gluck (Berlioz version), which was directed by Castellucci and produced by Brussels’ La Monnaie in 2014, creating a sensation for its shocking concept and realization (running time: 90′). The screening was introduced by Dr. Piersandra di Matteo, who was the dramaturge for the production. The myth of Orpheus offered Castellucci the opportunity to reflect on the unfathomable condition of being in a coma. Click here for the New York Times review of the premiere.

The second event was presented in Williams Hall 543 (Cherpack Semnar Room) on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 5:30. See here for more details. It featured a screening of the version of Claudio Monteverdi’s Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda first presented at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Bruxelles in 2000. For this event, Dr. Di Matteo, a longtime collaborator of Castellucci and currently one of the leading performance scholars and art curators in Italy, kindly created a video interview to Castellucci.

The two events were co-produced with the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies and the Music Department at Columbia University (see here).