Storie dell'Appennino

a festival within a festival in collaboration with
L'Uomo Che Cammina

L’Uomo Che Cammina, now in its sixth edition, hosts our Stories of the Apennines with a series of events dedicated to the world of the Apennines and its people!

Dialogues, meetings with local artisans – the true protagonists of the Reggio mountains –, buffets and aperitifs, group activities and concerts in the setting of Castelnovo ne’ Monti with the Pietra di Bismantova.

Participants include Nicola Cisternino, Istantanea, Associazione Musicale Sergio Gaggia and some international guests: Ensemble Kuraia (Spain) and Flashback (France). The climax of the festival will be the performance of WORKING CLASS: Operapaese per Castelnovo ne’ Monti by Giorgio Battistelli, who reworked for this specific occasion his Experimentum Mundi (1981), this time dedicating it to the women and men of the Pietra di Bismantova, Icarus and the Apennines of Reggio Emilia.

• Together with the inhabitants of the Apennines, Nicola Cisternino brings the chants of his 14th Great Tibetan Prayer for Peace, for Tibetan instrumentalists and three instrumental ensembles, under the Pietra di Bismantova, setting up the traditional flags imprinted with five colours – linked to the five elements – on site. The preparation is demanding and begins the day before.

• Icarus commissioned two works for the festival: one from the French group Flashback (Ephémères Harmonies) and one from Giorgio Battistelli (Working class: OperaPaese per Castelnovo ne’ Monti). Both have a strong multimedia component, and in Battistelli’s case even a social and political one, bringing local artisans directly onto the stage.

5 July 2024 | h. 5pm – aperitif at 7pm

Storie dell’Appennino – Tributes and research

Bismantova Theater | Castelnovo ne' Monti

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5 July 2024 | h. 9pm – buffet after the concert

Storie dell’Appennino – Prayer

Santo Stefano a Pineto Church | Vetto d'Enza

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6 July 2024 | h. 5:30pm

Storie dell’Appennino – Mantellini Theater

Mantellini Theater | Villa Minozzo

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6 July 2024 | h. 9pm – wine tasting at 10pm

Storie dell’Appennino – Ephémères Harmonies

Canevari Park | Busana

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31 August 2024 | h. 9pm

Storie dell’Appennino – WORKING CLASS

Tegge Park | Felina

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In Experimentum Mundi, while the captions of the illustrations from the Enlightenment Encyclopédie by Diderot and D’Alembert are recited, describing the tools of the trades represented on the stage, page after page an authentic village of sounds emerges.

The artisans are performers of their own professions, occupations that are nowadays dying out: the confectioner, shoemakers, knife grinders, carpenters, coopers, blacksmiths, flintmongers, stonemasons, bricklayers, and five voices make up the chorus of women. During the performance, each craftsman performs his handiwork on stage, in perfect synchrony with the musical and theatrical timing of the score, in a play of timbral and rhythmic interlocks that enhance gestures forged by an ancient tradition.

A dramaturgy of work, a rite that propitiates the stopping of time, a tribute to a theatre deprived of memory.

On our commission, Battistelli orchestrated the instrumental ensemble to accompany the artisans on stage, so that they could dialogue with the instruments of the Icarus Ensemble: hence the new title WORKING CLASS (Operapaese per Castelnovo ne’ Monti).

Experimentum mundi has been performed over 400 times in major theatres around the world, contributing to the fame of its creator, one of the most important musical personalities.

WORKING CLASS (Operapaese per Castelnovo ne’ Monti)* is a daring operation of musical theatre that brings real craftsmen and their tools to the stage to give life to a world of sounds and gestures that are today in danger of extinction. A project that stems from the desire to link and enhance the activities of the territory by involving a wide community of people in the realisation of an extraordinary musical event. The protagonists are sixteen craftsmen from the Emilian Apennines, five natural female voices, a youth ensemble (Icarus ensemble), a percussionist (Nicola Raffone), an actor (Pierluigi Tedeschi), and the creator of the work: Giorgio Battistelli.


*World Premiere. WORKING CLASS was commissioned by Icarus Ensemble with the support of the Ernst von Siemens Foundation.