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"The Great Duel between Orlando and Rinaldo for the Beautiful Angelica's Sake" SICILIAN PUPPET THEATER

Friday, November 2, 2018 from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM (CDT)

"The Great Duel between Orlando and Rinaldo for the...

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"The Great Duel between Orlando and Rinaldo...   more info Nov 2, 2018 Free  

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Join us for a rare opportunity to see a performance of the Sicilian Opera dei Pupi, led by master puppeteer Mimmo Cuticchio, one of the last heirs of this theater form, outside of Italy. Performed by Associazione Figli d'Arte Cuticchio, the show offers captivating entertainment for all ages. An understanding of the Italian language is not required to enjoy this enthralling and unique show. Free and open to the public, but reservations are required.

Presented by the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago and the Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul, in collaboration with Ministero dei beni e delle attivita` culturali e del turismo. Special thanks to Professor Francesca Bortoletti  (University of Minnesota), Project Curator. 

The performances tell the otherworldly, magical war story of Orlando and Rinaldo as they desert the French army in pursuit of the beautiful princess Angelica, battle with outlandish beasts in the forest, challenge each other to a duel and are only saved from destroying each other by the convenient intervention of an enterprising wizard. The performance will feature recorded music from Giacomo Cuticchio, who will also be handling the puppets alongside Mimmo.

While Opera dei Pupi/Sicilian Puppet Theater has been mesmerizing audiences since the start of the 18th century, when marionettes were a popular form of entertainment, the show’s narrative structure has been adapted for a contemporary audience. In 2001 UNESCO recognized Sicilian Puppet Theater as part of humanity’s “oral and intangible heritage.” For a description of Sicily’s Puppet Theater Tradition as listed on the UNESCO website, please click here:


It is difficult to determine exactly where the Opera dei Pupi originated. Some experts think that its origin could be traced back to the Greek marionettists, since rod marionettes were known to exist by then in Syracuse, Sicily. It is less difficult to establish the start of the Sicilian Puppet Theatre. The Opera dei Pupi/Sicilian Puppet Theatre dates back to the end of the 18th Century. The Opera finds its roots in the desire for chivalric and literary themes to become part of popular (street) theatre. The stories are based on epic medieval literature through the re-elaboration of the material contained in epic medieval tales as well as in Italian Renaissance poetry, such as Orlando Furioso/The Frenzy of Orlando by Ludovico Ariosto. The characters are typified by their facial expressions, the color of their copper or brass armor fashion, and the emblem they wear on their suit of armor and shield.

Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, Theater East, 915 E 60th Street, Chicago
(Parking lot located at the corner of Drexel Avenue and 60th Street free after 4:00 pm; limited street parking available around Midway Plaisance; a Parking Garage is located at Drexel Avenue and 61st Street, rate is $4 per hour)



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When & Where

Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, Theater East
915 E 60th St
Chicago, IL 60637

Friday, November 2, 2018 from 4:30 PM to 6:00 PM (CDT)

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Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago

500 N Michigan Ave. Suite 1450

Chicago, IL 60611

Currently active in all the major cities of the five continents, the ninety Italian Cultural Institutes serve as an ideal meeting place for intellectuals, artists, and cultural operatives, as well as for ordinary citizens, both Italian and foreign, who wish to establish or maintain a relationship with our country. By acting not only as a showcase and source of current information on Italy, but also as a driving force behind initiatives and projects of cultural cooperation, the Italian Cultural Institute has become a focal point for both the Italian communities abroad and the growing demand for Italian culture throughout the world.

By extending the role of Embassies and Consulates, the Italian Cultural Institutes offer the most effective tools for promoting a worldwide image of Italy as a center of production, preservation, and dissemination of culture from the Classical Age until today. Along with organizing cultural events in a vast array of areas, including art, music, cinema, theatre, dance, fashion, design, and photography, the Italian Cultural Institutes:

  • Offer the opportunity to learn Italian language and culture through the organization of courses, the management of libraries and the preparation of educational and editorial materials;
  • Provide the networks and the premises to facilitate the integration of Italian operators in the process of cultural exchange and production at an international level;
  • Provide information and logistic support to public and private cultural operators, both Italian and foreign;
  • Continuously support initiatives aimed at promoting an intercultural dialogue based on the principles of democracy and international solidarity.
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