TEATRO NIOVO Compagnia di Venezia
by Carlo Goldoni
a play incorporating prose and music
adapted and directed by Alessandro Bressanello
original live music by PITURA FRESKA
The idea to stage the play in a modern musical dimension arose, in the wake of the shows put on in celebration of the Goldonian Bicentenary, from the desire to produce a "different" Goldoni, not just from an experimental point of view - a ground trodden in the past by many with various degrees of success - but in its Venetian spirit and expressive language.

The choral spirit of the script, the musicality afforded by the free verse and the typically Venetian setting prompted the idea to put together a group of close-knit and accomplished Venetian players with what was, and still is, the most interesting musical "novelty" to come from this, the city of Vivaldi, Goldoni and Tintoretto.

Staged in Venice during the Carnival of 1756, Il Campiello was a triumph. Goldoni put its success down to his direct and in-depth study of the Venetian proletariat, writing in his memoirs " ... everything was drawn from the common people, but so true to life was the observation that it was recognized by the whole audience ...". Since then it has been played in every corner of Italy, with constantly excellent results despite the great variety of dialectal nuances.

The project was all about flanking the script with expressive form: the music and lyrics of Pitura Freska. Although a Venetian phenomenon with very Venetian lyrics and dialect, Pitura are known throughout Italy. With their role of modern minstrels, the band accompanies and comments on the typical life of Venice's backstreets, irrupting between the plot and themes so dear to Goldoni with their original and witty observations on the everyday trials and tribulations of modern life.

Produced by the Venice municipality and "Grande Eventi" for the "Venice Carnival 1993", the play was staged in February in the Goldoni Theater in Venice and the Toniolo Theater, Mestre.

The results were thrilling, to say the least:

"....combining the script with virtuosities of Pitura Freska - present-day minstrels of the lagoon's life, sung in dialect and with no regard for the threadbare conventions - came as a real breath of fresh air...."
(G.A.Cibotto in Il Gazzettino, 15.02.93)

"...Pitura Freska succeed blending perfectly with the animated plot, exalting the more suggestive scenes and the very musicality of the Martelli dialogues ... merit of precise direction which, from the fantastic opening scene, so rich in atmosphere, keeps proving its worth, particularly in co-ordinating the scenes with a larger choral use, all held together by a consistently excellent cast of actors.
Enrico Ricciardi in La Nuova Venezia, 15.02.93)

"... the sight of Skardy, complete with his Rasta glasses, striking up "Canpiélo ti se beo/ghe zogavo da putélo/ ma no ti se più queo"1, in the midst of traditional tricorns and black Venetian shawls, is simply unforgettable..."
(Antonio Stefani in Il Giornale di Vicenza, 14.02.93)

small Venetian square, you're beautiful/
where I played as a kid/ but you ain't the same no more

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