01 / 01
Luigi Ceccarelli


Ouverture Alcina [2009]

for voice and elaborated horn sounds

music Luigi Ceccarelli
voice Ermanna Montanari
text Nevio Spadoni
direction Marco Martinelli

duration 40′
surround diffusion 9.1

1st performance: Firenze, Tempo Reale, Cantieri Goldonetta – 06 Novembre 2004

production Teatro delleAlbe

Ouverture Alcina is a reworking of the Isola di Alcina in concert form. Stage structure has a more basic version of the previous and the ratio of acting is listening, they are not being more mediated by the scene and characters of contour, it is more direct and intense.

Ouverture Alcina is a battle between the power of the voice and the power of the music, an alchemy that draw the figure of the love-woundedsorceress in her iconic immobility, a ghost that howls an untreatable pain. A “canto” in Romagnol dialect, an ultra-local language, harsh and archaic, which makes a strongpoint, objective music, of its own incommunicability. The sorceress is alone on stage, moves in the dark, here and there crossed by flashes of light which show her acting body, like that of a butoh dancer, within a sound space orchestrated live by the composer himself.

What springs forth is a concert-performance where voice and music form the same stage material. No action, no drama: only the wandering of a vagabond voice, a fabulatory vision in which you can get lost, as in the wrench of dreams. The term overture is employed in music chiefly as the introduction to an opera, but in the 19th century it also designated autonomous symphonies. It’s in this sense that we chose the term, also because of its being suspended and ambiguous between the musical and and psychic spheres: “overture”, opening, introduction to Alcina’s mental universe, to her headlong whirling.

Marco Martinelli, Ermanna Montanari

representations of Ouverture Alcina

Nov 06, 2004 – Firenze, Tempo Reale, Cantieri Goldonetta
Aug 26, 2005 – Crest (Francia) Futura 05, Espace Soubeyran
Jun 07, 2007 – Ferrara, Aterforum, Teatro Comunale
Apr 05, 2009 – Villa Raspa di Spoltore (Pe) Magfest, Spazio Alici
Apr 10, 2009 – Roma, Rai Radio Tre Sala A, broadcast live on radio
Apr 24, 2009 – Wroclaw (Polska), Festival Giving Voices
Nov 2-8, 2009 – Trieste, Il Teatro Rossetti, stagione teatrale
13-15 Nov 09 – Tunisi (Tunisia), Journèes Theatrales de Chartage
Sep 25-26, 2010 – Limoges (Fra), Festival Les Francophones en Limousin, CCM John Lennon
Nov 6-7, 2010 – Berlino (Germania), Festival Teatro/Theater, Theater an der Parkaue
Jan, 5,6,9,10, 2010 – New York City (USA), COIL Festival, Performance Space 122
Mar 10-11, 2011 – Bologna, University of Bologna ,La Soffitta 2011
Jun 5-6, 2011 – Torino, Festival delle Colline Torinesi
Dec 9, 2011 – Mosca (Russia), Stanislawsy Foundation, International Theatre Festival
Dec 17, 2011 – Roma, Teatro Valle occupato
Feb 6, 2012 – Ravenna, Nobodaddy, Artificierie Almagià
Apr 30, 2012 – Genova, Teatro Akropolis
May 11-12, 2013 – Milano, Teatro dell’Elfo Puccini


Ouverture Alcina—a frightening, hypnotic bit of recitative—scratches a very, very specific itch. Are you, for instance, a fan of minimalist stagings, but histrionic actresses? Do you like opera—but have a secret desire to hear one butchered for its sonic parts? In Teatro delle Albe’s strange spoken-word aria, rending things apart is the order of the day. Ermanna Montanari speaks, shrieks and growls her Romagnol text—Nevio Spadoni’s updating of the seductive witch from Orlando Furioso—as though it’s being clawed directly from her voicebox. Around her screams the tempestuous electronic score by Luigi Ceccarelli, a noise so insane it seems to have ripped itself violently away from the libretto. Co-devisor Marco Martinelli cuts the space with icy stripes of light—though Montanari often prefers to back slightly away from us, leaving her face in darkness. The effort is to divorce every element from every other element, and to

make the susceptible among us feel torn apart as well.
The short work is only seven short sections: Alcina bemoans her fate, hurls a decent amount of invective at men (memorably she likens them to pig-shearing, “all that noise, so little wool”) and takes leave of her senses, all while flickering just at the edge of our vision. There’s no need to follow the story, since it is brutally simple. (Alcina has betrayed her sister by seducing her lover. Then she loses it.) We’re really here to revel in Montanari’s extraordinary control, her painted eyes, her full-throttle staginess. In various avant-garde experiments I’ve seen recently, characters from the great silent movies find themselves spliced into modern work. Here, without any recourse to video trickery, Teatro delle Albe gets the same effect.

Helen Shaw, Timeout, New York – Jan 7, 2011 – http://newyork.timeout.com/arts-culture/

CD – Ouverture Alcina
music Luigi Ceccarelli
texts Nevio Spadoni
voice Ermanna Montanari
duration: 40′
production Teatro delleAlbe – Ravenna

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