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Luigi Ceccarelli


La Commedia della Vanità [1998]

by Elias Canetti

radio direction - Giorgio Presburger
music and sound design - Luigi Ceccarelli

duration: 170′

production RadioRAI – Mittelfest ’98 – Cividale del Friuli

theatrical representation: Cividale del Friuli (UD), Mittelfest ’98 – 18 Luglio /98
1st radio broadcast – RAI Radiotre Gennaio 1999

aistant director Francesca Angeli
RAI coordination alfredo Guerrieri
production staff Anna Antonelli, Claudia di Giacomo

first act  51’40″
second act  83’00″
third act  30’40″

The “Commedia della Vanità” was presented as a live performance at Mittelfest 98 on 18 July 1998 with the theatrical direction of Sabrina Morena and with the participation of Ennio Fantastichini, the students of the “Paolo Grassi” School of Dramatic Art in Milan, the students of Faculty of Dramatic Art of Skopje (Macedonia) and the students of the Academy of Dramatic Art Nico Pepe of Udine.

recorded voices

Alessandro Haber (il banditore Wondrak)
Paolo Bonacelli (Barloch, Garaus)
Omero Antonutti (Franzl, Franz Nada)
Paolo Calbresi (Egon Kaldaun)
Ennio Fantastichini (Brosam)
Anna Bonaiuto (Lya)
Maria Confalone (Emilie Fant)
Edda Valente (Vedova Weihrauch)
Doreotea Aslanidis (Sorella Luise)
Michela Martini (Signorina Mai)
Luciano Virgilio (Fritz Schakerl)
Fabrizio Gifuni (Heinrich Fohn)
Valeria Milillo (Milli Kreiss)
Gabriele Benedetti (Francois Fant)
Rosamaria Tavolucci (Leda Frisch)
Lidia Coslovich (Terese Kreiss)
Jannina Salvetti (Anna Barloch)
Gianpaolo Poddighe (Fritz Held)
Mattia Macchiavelli (S. Bleiss)
Francesca Angeli (Puppi)
Cristina Spina (Hedi)
Virginia Bianco (Lori).

Giorgio Presburgher created for radio RAI the radio version of the comedy in which voices and sounds, curated by the composer Luigi Ceccarelli, merge, giving rise to a work of great intensity characterized by strong sound colors and a pressing and frenetic rhythm.
Born in ’33 following Hitler’s seizure of power and the famous burning of books, La Commedia della Vanità aims to be an analysis of the relationship between absurd and sudden prohibitions and the support of enthusiastic masses.
Small and middle-class characters frantically pass through the streets of the city, carrying packages with photographs of relatives, friends, film actors in their hands; others push huge and heavy bales, others carry loads of mirrors, still others extract portraits from pockets and purses. Everyone goes to a square where a big fire is burning into which portraits and photographs will be thrown, and they will break mirrors in a fair shack.
The government has in fact approved the destruction of all images, from films to family photos.
The enthusiasm of the people is directly proportional to the intensity of the fire that blazes on the square and indirectly

proportional to the coldness of the men of the political apparatus, ready to keep their privileges. Ten years after the decrees were issued, the characters continue to be obsessed with their “I”. Small underground trades of images and mirrors, denunciations, thefts, murders characterize this dark and deaf era in which only the personal songs with which the characters are able to define their identity resound. The lamentations of those who, unable to see their own image, beg for the attention of others. The disease of the time was so strong that the regime allowed the existence and attendance of a sort of “nursing home” in which it is allowed to look in the mirror. While everyone is in admiration in front of his image, a voice incites revolt only by the strength of the tone, without any substance in the contents. The crowd gathered in the nursing home room uncritically collects the message as it once accepted the prohibitions, tears the mirrors from the walls and regains individuality. “The air resounds with furious cries: I! I! I! I! I!”. All these voices, however, do not manage to form a true chorus.
The individual, having become mass for a moment, returns to be, with the same violence, an individual.

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