New Victory Theater to Present Carlo Colla & Sons Marionette Company's SLEEPING BEAUTY, 11/1-19
Three centuries of Italy's rich cultural heritage are on dazzling display when Carlo Colla & Sons Marionette Company (Macbeth, New Vic 2007) tells the timeless tale of a princess and her prophesied slumber in the U.S. Premiere of Sleeping Beauty from November 1 - 10, 2013 at The New Victory Theater. Part of the "Year of Italian Culture in the United States," this gem from the repertoire of Italy's oldest and most respected classicAl Marionette company interprets Charles Perrault's original 1697 fairy tale "The Sleeping Beauty in the Wood" with the accompaniment of Tchaikovsky's enchanting ballet score.
From the court celebration of Aurora's birth to a battle in the brambles with the evil fairy, every scene is brought to ingenious life as 11 puppeteers skillfully operate 165 handcrafted marionettes, each with their own wardrobe of marionette couture. Completing the production, elaborate scenery is painted in the Collas' studio in Milan and, like the puppets, is created using the same 18th-century techniques as the company's founders. "When we make new material, we do it following the tradition so that we can use old marionettes and new marionettes, old scenery and new scenery, all in the same production. They appear the same because they are realized in the same way," explains Collas' General Manager Piero Corbella.
Over the past 300 years, the Colla studio has built a collection of nearly 3,000 marionettes. They all begin as blocks of wood that are carved into figures roughly two and a half feet tall, transformed with delicate facial features, realistic glass eyes, wigs and costumes. The creation process takes roughly a week and is the handiwork of many people, some of who learned the craft from their fathers, and all of who work during the season as puppeteers. Eugenio Monti Colla, Artistic Director and the last puppeteer to have performed at Milan's Theatre Gerolamo, the company's first permanent residence, says, "Since the beginning, we have taken pride in the work and individual time we give to each of our marionettes and the development of each of our shows. I learned the art of the marionette, both creation and puppeteering, from my mother, who learned from her father, who learned from his father, and I am happy to keep this rich Italian heritage alive."
Today, Carlo Colla & Sons Marionette Company is one of the most recognized puppet theaters in the world, performing nationally and internationally for audiences of adults and young people. Based in Milan, the company has toured five continents since 1980, participating in prestigious arts festivals in Edinburgh, Paris, Berlin, Sydney, Melbourne, Charleston and Mexico City, among others. In 1984, the new generation of puppeteers created the Associazione Grupporiani under the artistic direction of Eugenio Monti Colla. Since 2000, the company has collaborated with the Piccolo Teatro of Milan-Teatro d'Europa, and presents in Milan at the Piccolo Teatro and at the Atelier Carlo Colla e Figli. In 2007, the company received accolades in the U.S. for their co-production ofMacbeth with the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
The puppeteers behind the magic of Sleeping Beauty are Eugenio Monti Colla, Elisabetta Cecconato, Franco Citterio, Maria Grazia Citterio, Piero Corbella, Camillo Cosulich, Debora Coviello, Cecilia Di Marco, Tiziano Marcolegio, Giovanni Schiavolin and Paolo Sette. Eugenio Monti Colla is the writer, costume designer and the director; Cecilia Di Marco is the assistant costume designer; Franco Citterio is the scene designer, sculptor and lighting designer; and Debora Coviello is the assistant scene designer. For the recording of the English text, Nadia Boaretto is the translator, Laura Pasetti is the director and Valentina Albertario is the assistant director with voices performed by Michael Daviot, Matthew Dudley, Danielle Farrow, Joe Johnson, Eliza Langland, Caroline Mathison, Laura Pasetti, John Ritchie, Riley Stewart and Mandy Sykes.
Tickets for Sleeping Beauty at The New Victory Theater (209 West 42nd Street) cost $25, $18, $12 and $9 for Members based on seat locations, with full price tickets starting at $14.
Theater-goers who buy tickets for three or more New Victory shows qualify for free Membership, with benefits including 35-percent savings on tickets all season long and unlimited free ticket exchanges. Purchase tickets online or by phone at 646-223-3010. The New Victory Theater box office (209 West 42nd Street) is open Sunday and Monday from 11am-5pm and Tuesday through Saturday from 12pm-7pm. For more information, visit the New Victory website.