O’ Zappatore (1972)
by Leo de Berardinis e Perla Peragallo
with Leo de Berardinis, Perla Peragallo, Cosimo Cinieri, Sebastiano Devastato, Giosafatt Nocerino, Giggino Pantanijali
orchestra Guglielmo Esposito (pianoforte), Vincenzo Olivieri (batteria), Stefano Minale (clarinetto), Raffaele Minale (tromba)
Premiere Napoli, Teatro Orione, 14 marzo 1972
by Donatella Orecchia
It’s 1971. Leo and Perla have been in Marigliano for a year and stage ‘O Zappatore, from a famous dramatization on verses by Libero Bovio and music by Ferdinando Albano.
The story is simple: a laborer has worked all his life to support his family and his son’s studies. When his son becomes a lawyer and falls in love with a ballerina for whom he leaves his father’s house, his faithful girlfriend and his dying mother, his father follows him to Naples, where he has fled with his lover, and takes him home.
In the rewriting, which also includes the use of film sequences projected onto three screens and an on stage orchestra, and with the participation of residents of Marigliano, the two artists turn the material into a parable about contemporary art and their own recent theatrical experience, to convey a bitter message about an avant-garde that can neither draw on the vitality of the lower classes nor become genuinely bourgeois.