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activities - workshop / meeting/ contests - the "40 years in 2000" competition - l'ape apatica (the listless bee)

L'ape apatica (The listless bee)

01-08 March 2002

Teatro Sociale di Rovigo
186 Stagione Lirica
Rovigo, March, 1- 2 -3, 2002
Teatro Goldoni
Venice, March, 7 - 8, 2002



Two musical scenes inspired by the poems and drawings of Toti Scialoja

L'ape apatica (The listless bee)

A concertante piece for female dancer, solo treble voice, chorus of treble voices, soprano, trombone, percussion, electronics and animated images
poems and drawings by Toti Scialoja

Alice e il senso perso (Alice and the lost meaning)

Musical fairy-tale for solo voice, solo treble voice, 4 treble voices, ensemble, electronic sounds and video processing
poems by Toti Scialoja
texts freely adapted from "Through the Looking Glass" by Lewis Carroll

Letizia Piva solo voice
Paola Matarrese soprano
Helene Franck, Clara Panin solo treble voices
Vincenzo Montemitro trombone
Nunzio Di Corato percussion
Ensemble & Chorus of the "F. Venezze" Conservatory, Rovigo
Luca Paccagnella music director
Marina Malavasi chorus master
Thierry Parmentier direction, scenes and costumes
Roberto Carotenuto video scenography
Laura Bianchini, Maurizio Giri, Lucia Ronchetti live electronics
Carlo Volpe sound direction
Co-production: Teatro Sociale, "Francesco Venezze" Conservatory, Rovigo; Fondazione Teatro La Fenice,Venice; Federazione Cemat, CRM-Centro Ricerche Musicali, Rome
in collaboration with the Toti Scialoja Foundation


"Tempestuous nomenclator Toti Scialoja who, with the lash of his paintbrush, keeps at bay a zoo of over a hundred paper animals from the bee to the mosquito and parades, together with domestic mice, dogs, cats, rare examples of condor, panther, puma, salamanders; bats, mergansers, scops owls, leopards; ibis, tapirs, asps and caymans, without forgetting the teeming universe of outcast worms, grubs, caterpillars, gadflies, flies, midges, woodworms, clothes-moths, cockroaches, millipedes, tarantulas, bedbugs and fleas. Director of an imaginary circus based on the most daring and reckless linguistic acrobatics, Scialoja reaffirms his theatrical vocation conjuring up the circus world in drawings where mantises beat drums, hares play the harp, moles dance the tango, harried by mosquitos which hop along on one leg only, cats which do handstands, dragonflies on stilts, geese on tandems, walruses on tricycles.
Animalie is the "mise en scène" of the fantastic bestiary created by Toti Scialoja for children. "Mise en scène" of the word, full of retorts pregnant with significance, which progressively explodes in the visual and sonic space.
During the analytical questioning game played by the child as he reads, the formal perfection of each nursery rhyme reveals its pantomimic potential, unravelling itself in images, paths and transitions.
As they appear on the scene, the bizarre animal protagonists of this kaleidoscope-work, "merrily heedless of the law of gravity", give one a glimpse - through meteoric dramaturgical fragments - of the potential "enchanted wood" of the Scialoja fable.
The munching frog, the dancing butterfly, the old maid dragonfly, the raucous cicada, the vain vanessa, the listless bee, are only a few of the characters that the children interpret on the stage, playing with the sudden apparitions.
Hillman's "Dream animals", in analysing the appearance of animals in dreams, proposes to man the task of a sort of symbolic reconstruction of Noah's ark, both inside and outside himself. Scialoja's divertissement can therefore be considered a continual research and collection by means of jocular images of an archetype - such as, for example, the trickster and the "puer aeternus" of Jung - which are present in different cultures with unexpected apparitions.
"Caught in the act during the split second of a leap, of a pirouette, of an embrace, of an undulating stirring of garments, these animals materialize without warning like the Cheshire Cat of Alice" - and in fact it is Alice herself, the ideal and idealized
child, explorer of the enchanted wood of signs and assonances, who guides and shapes the progressive revealing of the subtle nonsensical enigmas, discovering the link and the reason of the "lost meaning".
"Words are made up of smaller elements, syllables; that is, a phonic elementary sequence in which a consonantal sound supports itself on a vowel and in the meantime from that anchorage steals a mischievous and enchanting glance in every other direction. The result is a whirligig of unforeseeable, unmanageable meanings, which spring up like mushrooms, which ogle us here, there and everywhere. Everything is consonant with everything else, in an open forest of memories, in a sort of gigantic acoustic crossword".
The enigma permits the passage from disorder to order, from the loss of linguistic meaning to the conquest of musical meaning. One of the most important design aspects of Animalie is the creation of a "virtual scenic space", realized
through the localization, the movement of sounds in space and the diversification of the sound planes: the arena of spectacular listening and of ex-machina voices, where the child protagonists can play with discovery.
"Many shadows, many layers of unfathomable transparencies gather from the very beginning on the metric-metaphorical manipulations of Scialoja, including the most flamboyant and, at first sight, indestructably innocent. In my opinion, it is precisely this last point on which one can never insist too much if one wants to elicit from these micro-masterpieces of lightness, of jocularity of "irresponsibility" all the potentiality of reality, of earnestness and, we might even say, of grief which they produce or, more possibly, attract in their magnetic field, on the black surface, that can be animated without limits, created by the mysterious juxtaposition of pure colours, of sound cells extracted "casually" from the great magic hat of assonances, of anagrams, of dovetailed syllables, of vowels and consonants mischievously or crazily purloined or substituted.

The work therefore holds dear the logic of transformation; all the semantic factors interact, merge and sometimes become blurred, similar to what occurs in dreamlike narrations. This is an authentic musical fable whose principal motive is metamorphosis. (Laura Bianchini, Lucia Ronchetti)


Ape ApaticacatinsettomouseTotidvd cover