The Musical Roots of the Commedia dell’Arte. Co-production Festivoce (Pigna, Corsica) / Association Culturelle Lucidarium

François Bunel (1552-1595), Personnages de la Comédie Italienne

François Bunel (1552-1595), Personnages de la Comédie Italienne

The Commedia dell’Arte was born in 16th Century Italy, when the courts were “downsized,” forcing laid-off actors and musicians to form companies that performed for a paying public.  Although this would later change, in the beginning, the main emphasis was on text, song and music rather than the physical or acrobatic aspects of performance.  The commedianti portrayed characters that would have been instantly recognizable to their public, like Zanni, the hilariously impertinent servant, il Dottore, the pompous but ignorant physician, or Il Capitano, a cowardly blowhard.  The commedia was ad-libbed – comic scenes, based on a series of set gags and situations, changing nightly: the actors played off of each other and the public. Its music must have had the same freewheeling flavor: dances improvised over harmonic patterns, played by musicians that were as used to jamming together as any seasoned jazz band today.
Here, in a homage to the first days of the Commedia, Lucidarium, in a semi-staged production, shows what life might have been like for a troupe of down-on-their luck actors and musicians in the 16th century.  Moving seamlessly between music and theater, Con l’Arte e con l’Inganno unites frottole, strambotti, canzoni and balli that treat typical Commedia themes with scenes drawn from its earliest sources.

8 Performers: Enrico Fink: commediante, Gloria Moretti, Anna Pia Capurso: voice;
Avery Gosfield: recorders, pipe and tabor, Marco Ferrari: recorders, double flute, dulcian,
Francis Biggi: cetra, colascione, lute, viola da mano, Massimiliano Dragoni: percussion, hammer dulcimer, Oleguer Aymami Busque, viola da gamba also available in a staged version with a portable set and projections, featuring designs by Toni Casalonga and animations by Anne Pellegrini


5 novembre 2014 Programs

Comments are closed



Lucidarium is an irresistibly fun group, a light-hearted collection of friends out to relish each other’s company by making music together. That unbuttoned ethos is a welcome intrusion in the concert hall, one that will hopefully infect other performers.

Basler Zeitung

Next to their stylistic confidence and saddle-sure historical interpretation, Ensemble Lucidarium shows us just how contagiously vivacious the reconstruction of medieval sounds can be.

The six members of Lucidarium let their listeners dive into a completely enchanting world… The musical poetry of the Middle Ages was brought back to life in the most beautiful way possible

New York Times

… The Ensemble Lucidarium, an Italian group, in a program of vocal works (and a couple of high-energy saltarellos) on Wednesday afternoon, performed in a style free of vibrato and other forms of modern polish but plentifully adorned with florid vocal embellishments…

American Recorder Society Magazine

Anyone who arrived thinking of Medieval repertoire as “minor” or as music that ‘all sounds alike’ left with changed ideas.

The Arts Desk

There was a naturalness and relaxedness to their performance that was immensely pleasing.

Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace

… it was enough to be swept away, by the refinement and conviction of the performers, to a place where magic reigns.