Italy : Napoli Teatro Festival 2020 Ready to kick off


Belgian artist Jan Fabre, internationally known for his provocative and creative genius, British actress Charlotte Rampling, an extraordinary and award-winning film talent, Greek choreographer Dimitris Papaioannou, an authentic pioneer of contemporary dance, French Syrian theatre director Ramzi Choukair and Kuwaiti playwright and director Sulayman Al-Bassam, both for the first time in Italy bringing a new vision of postcolonial theatre. They are the great famous theatre artists who will be protagonists of the upcoming international Section of Napoli Teatro Festival Italia 2020, which consists of 5 events, from the first of September to the last of February.

This autumn and winter Section completes the 2020 edition of the Festival, directed by Ruggero Cappuccio, whose first part successfully concluded last July in spite of the pandemic. The initiative that has been promoted by the Fondazione Campania dei Festival, held by Alessandro Barbano, was made possible thanks to the strong support of the Campania Region and with the contribution of MiBACT.

The opening is scheduled for Saturday September 12th at 9:00 pm (with a second showing on the 13th) at the Teatro Bellini di Napoli, where “Resurrexit Cassandra”, conceived and directed by Jan Fabre, based on a poetic text by Ruggero Cappuccio, will be staged. A solo in five scenes where a contemporary Cassandra, played by German actress Stella Höttler, once again tries to speak with men, warning them of a disaster which they face, but where words fall into empty space. It seems that nobody listens nor finds any recognition of what is happening. Not even a shred of faith remains.

The second event, also held at Teatro Bellini, Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd September at 9:00 pm, will be “Y-Saidnaya”, ideation, text and direction by Ramzi Choukair. Inspired by the magic atmosphere of “A Thousand and one Nights”, it tells the story of Riyadh, a 22-year-old boy arrested and tortured by the Syrian secret services. This dramatically brings out the story revealed by several witnesses and survivors of the brutal repression of the Syrian regime.

Arab theatre is still protagonist on Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd October at 9:00 pm at the Teatro Bellini with “I Medea”, written and directed by Sulayman Al-Bassam, a world-famous playwright noted for his original ability to rewrite myths in a more modern and bold way. In this production, for example, Medea impersonates an Arabian emigrant in Corinth. And Corinth is a dangerous place invaded by a frenetic xenophobia, led by the populist leader Creon, where emigrants arrive on small boats. Jason is an investigator in the field of biotechnology who chooses to divorce Medea in order to marry the king’s daughter and so to acquire a better social position.

As a final gift we will conclude this year’s events on Wednesday 30th December at 9:00 pm always at Teatro Bellini where there will be a performance with Charlotte Rampling and Sonia Wieder-Atherton playing in “Shakespeare-Bach”, suite for violoncello created for the text of the Shakespeare’s Sonnets and with the musical score of Bach. The verses and the notes have the same identical sound and duration, which determines the rhythm resulting in a magnificent hypnotic moment.

The last event of the international Section, that will take place at the Teatro Politeama, will be on Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th February 2021 and it is like the previous ones absolutely not to be missed. Dimitris Papaioannou will present in Naples “New York”, a provisional title for his new creation. It will be another international production of great prestige revealing itself even to its creator who continues to perfection it, after having attracted more than 500 performers and dancers from all over the world to the auditions.

In addition to the international Section, in this second part of Napoli Teatro Festival Italia there will be 3 other events, which will be held in complete safety contemplating an extraordinary attendance like the summer performances, which were staged from 1st to 31st July at outdoor locations.

From the 22nd of January until the 28th of February there will be hosted in a fascinating place, at the Chiostro di San Domenico Maggiore, an exhibition called “Bestiario teatrale: Emma Dante e la Compagnia Sud Costa Occidentale”, cured by Maria Savarese, with free admission. Set designs, photos, posters and scenic objects from her most successful lyric operas will be presented in a retrospective that celebrates the talent of this famous Palermitan female director and demonstrates the research which was needed to find a creative language.

In the Special Projects Section on the 26th September at 9:00 pm there will be presented at Teatro Bellini “#Foodistribution I Eden. Quando eravamo edera” (When we were ivy), a project by Manovalanza Teatro, cured by Davide Scognamiglio and Daniele Ciprì, text and direction by Adriana Follieri. For the Dance Section on the 7th October at 9:00 pm will be represented on the Bellini’s stage a production inspired by a work by Dacia Maraini called “Camille”, dedicated to the woman who was a student of the French sculptor and painter Auguste Rodin and the famous poet Paul Claudel’s sister.

Also in this second and final part of the NTFI, which furthermore continues our collaboration with the maestro Mimmo Paladino responsible for the wonderful and colourful graphics, the synergy between the Fondazione Campania dei Festival and the more prestigious Foreign Institutes of Culture (Institut Français, Goethe-Institut, Istituto Cervantes, British Council) will be strengthened because of the international relevance of the Festival.

The Napoli Teatro Festival Italia, which is part of the network Italia Festival and of the EFA (European Festival Association) will promote, as always under the artistic direction of Ruggero Cappuccio, public participation with popular prices (from 5 to 8 euro) and allowing free entrance for socially disadvantaged groups. The tickets will be on sale from Thursday 3rd September on the website and in the authorised sale points. Some performances will be transmitted in free streaming on, on Radio CRC Targato Italia and on the platform Ecosistema digitale per la cultura della Regione Campania, as were performances in July. The same Radio Crc Targato Italia and Rai Radio3 will continue to be the media partners of the Festival.

The final part of the Napoli Teatro Festival Italia, together with the huge effort of the previous summer edition, is going to reignite the lights of our city’s theatres, after a long emergency stop, marking the continuation of cultural activity in the Campania Region and sending a new important and concrete message of hope for the future of the arts in our country.

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