Betrayal, Murder and Punishment

This is one of the pieces included in the exhibition.

La Terribile vicenda di Anselmo Forgiali
(The Terrible story of Anselmo Foriali)
Diamiano Giambelli/Teatro del Corvo
Milano, Italy

This text is a betrayal, murder and punishment story very typical of the repertoire of traditional Italian cantastoria of 19th and early 20th centuries, that often took inspiration from real events. This song comes from the area of the Sieve Valley, in the province of Florence.
The banner was painted taking inspiration from the traditional old cantastoria banners, that were carried along by singers and players from village to village.
The story was a part of a wider show, all about cantastoria, that Teatro del Corvo staged in august 2008 in collaboration with Suonatori della Leggera, a group of traditional musicians from Tuscany. The show was performed in the “Cianto viol” traditional music festival of Sampeyre in the occitaine Alps of northwest Italy, and included, along with the music of Suonatori della Leggera, giant puppets, cut-out puppets, dances and stilting. The performers were a group of people of all ages in the community who built all the puppets and rehearsed with the musicians during a two-week workshop. All of the scenes were based on cantastoria songs, some traditional and some written by Suonatori della Leggera.

Co’ una lunga e affilata coltella/With a long and sharpened knife
a quel bimbo il suo collo li taglia/the head of the child she cuts away
quella misera testa poi scaglia/then she throws the poor remains
nella stanza in un angolo lá/in a corner of the room

Quando sta pe’ tornare nel letto/Just as she is going back to bed
che l’amante la sta ad aspettare/where her lover is waiting for her
alla porta lei sente bussare/at the door she hears knocking
ma coraggio d’aprire non he/but she has not courage to open….

click an image for a larger version