5 good reasons to go to the Theatre in Venice!
Many people, when they come to visit Venice, book their tickets well in advance so they can attend one of the many amazing events at the Fenice Theatre, one of the most famous and beautiful Opera houses in the world.
Going to the Opera is enjoyable even if you do not speak the language of the city you are visiting: you listen to the music, you watch the dancing, the stage, and the effects!
No need to understand the words!
But how many visitors miss out on the opportunity to book a night at the theatre, to enjoy a show in Italian, worried that they will not understand the play staged?
Well, worry no more!
From this season, the oldest theatre in Venice, Teatro Goldoni, is staging a series of Venetian plays, with subtitles in English and French – so even visitors to the city can enjoy a Cultural night out!
I had the great opportunity to attend one of these plays a few weeks ago and, trust me, I have not laughed so hard in a very long time!
But let’s start from the beginning!
5 good reasons to go to the Theatre in Venice!
The History of Teatro Goldoni
The Carlo Goldoni theater is the oldest theatre in Venice, still in existence today, and it is the fourth oldest in the city, after the Michiel Theater, the Tron Theater (1581) and the San Moisè Theater (1613).
The Vendramin family built it in 1622, from which it originally took its name. The inauguration of the theatre, also called San Salvador and San Luca, took place in the autumn of that year, with a show by the Company “Gli Accesi”.
For the first 30 years, only comedy shows were staged.
In 1653 the theater was destroyed by a violent fire; the new owners, Andrea and Zanetta Vendramin, decided to rebuild it within the old walls that remained intact and to entrust it to external tenants, beneficiaries of all the revenues, but required to pay the Vendramin an annual income of 1,000 ducats, in addition to being responsible of all expenses.
Andrea and Zanetta held the theatre for forty years, continuing to use external conductors.
The most important period for the theatre was the one beginning in 1752, when the Theatre succeeded in engaging Carlo Goldoni, who, at that time, was considered the most important Venetian playwright, only undermined by the fame of the conservative Carlo Gozzi.
Goldoni is considered one of the fathers of modern comedy and owes part of his fame also to his works in the Venetian language.
Harlequin Season at Teatro Goldoni in Venice
With the exclusive premiere of “Harlequin’s Misadventures”, which took place on 27th June 2019 for various tour operators and hoteliers in the city, the Goldoni Theater Summer Season kicked off!
And what a kick off it was: an amazing welcome cocktail, a funny hilarious show with great actors, a delicious buffet dinner!
Now and for the next months, from June 28th to October 18th 2019, and with sixty-eight overall performances, the stage of the oldest theatre in Venice is transformed into an ancient showroom to host the audience among the sets, the strings, the lights and the actions of the characters.
Meaning: you get to attend the show with a different perspective! That is, you are sitting on the stage and not in the audience seats!
And believe me, it is a totally different experience!
The Misadventures of Arlecchino bring to the stage two Goldoni canvases of art comedy, translated and adapted for the scene for the first time in Italian by the director, Marco Zoppello: The son of Arlecchino, lost and found and Arlecchino and the magic ring.
The misadventures of Arlecchino are two canvases of Commedia dell’Arte, written by Carlo Goldoni for the Comèdie Italienne in Paris back in the 18th/19th century. The Venetian author, after going through the maturity of the so-called “reform”, returned to write in the style of the much fought “improvised comedy”.
On the stage, in the role of Arlecchino, is Stefano Rota, role that at the time of Carlo Goldoni, was played by Carlo Bertinazzi.
The Harlequin of these plays is a different Harlequin from the one we are used to.
An anomalous Harlequin, no longer a cheeky sly “cat”, but more of a “dog” like character, to be more precise a pug, in honor of the similarity of the mask with the animal’s snout.
Here Harlequin is no longer a servant but a man working for himself, no longer a victim of his masters but an author, against his will, of his own destiny.
On the stage, by the side of Stefano Rota, the young professional actors of the Compagnia del Teatro Stabile del Veneto, part of the TeSeO-Theater School and Employment project carried out in collaboration with the Veneto Region.
The choice of the comedy of art, which for over four centuries, with its colors and its masks, has dialogued with spectators of any nationality, and the introduction of English and French subtitles, make the show accessible to spectators from all over the world.
A great opportunity to see an amazing building in Venice and to attend to a great play!
The Play: The son of Arlecchino, lost and found
In a remote village in the Bergamo valleys, a couple of lovers, Rosaura and Florindo, get married in great secrecy and give birth to a daughter, right at the same time as Arlecchino and Camilla, his wife, celebrate the birth of their first child.
The plot unfolds between misunderstandings and exchanges of infants, rearing up on Arlecchino’s scenes of jealousy.
The pathetic path follows Camilla, unjustly accused of betrayal by her husband and desperate for the fate of a daughter who she believes has disappeared.
The game of misunderstandings, typical of the Commedia dell’ Arte, allows once again to bring to the stage those universal conflicts that have always animated the life of human beings: the thirst for power, for money, for great obstructed love passions, the green monster of jealousy.
A show that, among the folds of comedy, of entertainment, of the purest theatrical play, easygoing and sung, hides some darkness, ready to flare up among the brushwood of life.
The Theatre is a living work of art!
While you are sitting comfortably in your chair, in the middle of the stage, you get to experience a work of art that lives and breathes with you, at that very moment.
A connection is established, made of continuous exchanges of emotions and sensations between the actors on the stage and the spectators in the audience.
You will not be able to hold your laughter!
Theatre is Magic!
In a movie at the cinema, everything is usually shown, everything is said. Even the most sci-fi or surreal films are nothing more than a representation of the director’s imagination. Historical films tend to perfectly reconstruct the era in which the story takes place.
At the theatre, instead, it is your imagination that completes the work of the director and the actors!
Here the set is deliberately kept pretty bare, because you can count on the best special effects processor that exists … your brain! The magic of theater, which cinema cannot reproduce, consists precisely in this.
Think: you are living and breathing a play which was written by the man who stood in the exact same stage as you are, only a few century back in time!
Isn’t that amazing?
Teatro Stabile Del Veneto from 28th June to 18th October 2019 The Misaventures of Harlequin!
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