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Luciano Damiani

 

The work that for more than twenty years Luciano Damiani develops beside Giorgio Strehler at the Piccolo Teatro contributes to do of it one of the more important theatrical institutions to the world.Amongst the installations that he realized, as more stylized and innovative, one must quote at least those of El nost Milan (1954-55), The Good Person of Szechwan (1961), Piccolo Teatro, ''Life of Galileo'' (1961-62), Le baruffe chiozzotte (1964), Piccolo Teatro, ''The Cherry Orchard'' (1973-74), Il campiello (1975), Piccolo Teatro, ''The Tempest'' (1975).
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Piccolo Teatro, ''Life of Galileo'', 1961 «In Life of Galileo the scene began out of the stage and a truss drawn by Leonardo da Vinci framed the portal aloft.Under the front of the stage, the machine of the curtain by Nicola Sabbatini, scenographer of the seventeenth century.The stage floor was the only perspective element, with an accented inclination ...»
«... in the container with orthogonal plan.Five beams departed from the truss to end against the wall in the background.The one in the middle was calculated so that they all five resulted similar in the volume.»
«The purpose was to avoid the ''protagonism'' of the central beam that one can find in Paolo Uccello's works. The scene had to result to the eye of the spectator on the same level, like a ''sheet of paper'' where the characters would be hacked without their own shades and without brought shades, and this was the idea and the great difficulty but also the beauty.»
At the end of the Sixties Damiani has frequent and not concretized contacts with the cinema.Federico Fellini would like to submit him the scenography of his famous unrealized movie, Il viaggio di Mastorna.Peter Glenville calls him for The Man of the Mancha, but after some pre-production tests the project is abandoned, however, during the tests for the scenography ...
... Damiani experiments a large semi-transparent silk veil hovering in the wind.The idea is not appreciated, but all is not lost, because the veil will often appear in Damiani's next production, becoming almost an obsession.Damiani himself includes it in a graphic representation of his scenographic and theatrical conception ...
... in which the silk veil of The Man of La Mancha has a position of absolute importance.Damiani puts in fact the stage space between ''the upper fantastic or imaginary'' represented by a shaken white veil, and ''the lower fantastic or imaginary'', identified with the black, arranging between the two imaginary all his projects and shows.«A synthesis of his own aesthetical theories applied to the theater that Damiani held really dear», says Daniele Paolin, scenographer and teacher of scenography who was a student of Damiani.
Piccolo Teatro, ''The Cherry Orchard'', 1973 And here is a famous scenographic concretization of the theories.An ethereal backdrop of white silk lifts from the back of the stage, entirely covers it and expands up to the ceiling of the stalls (the suspended veil), while another backdrop of clear fabric goes down like a fall from the front of the stage.
After having frequented the courses of Giorgio Morandi at the Accademia di Belle Arti in his own city, Luciano Damiani (Bologna 1923 - Rome 2007), scenographer, costume designer and stage director, founds an agency specialized in the realization of poster for cinema and works in Bologna as a stage designer at the Teatro Comunale and for the theatrical group La Soffitta of Sandro Bolchi, until, in 1952, noticed by Paolo Grassi and Giorgio Strehler, he begins his collaboration with the Piccolo Teatro, that will be assiduous up to the last Seventies.
Soon Damiani developes a personal scenographical vision that, in theatre, brings him to demolish the traditional conception of the scena all'italiana.
The border of his scenographies, that never are explanatory or illustrative, is not anymore that of the stage, that is dilated at times until to invade the stalls, or almost emptied, with results of exceptional poetic significance.
Among his most prestigious international acknowledgement, there is the life nomination as a titular of the chair of scenography at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
In 1982 he founds in Rome the Teatro di Documenti, that will become his artistic and spiritual will.

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Piccolo Teatro, ''Life of Galileo''

Prose theatre

Piccolo Teatro, ''The Cherry Orchard''

Prose theatre

Piccolo Teatro, ''The Tempest''

Prose theatre

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