Theatrical performance by Alberto Macchi and the Italian Theatrical Group “Esperiente” from Warsaw

The performance “L’uomo Caravaggio” (The Man Caravaggio) took place in Warsaw to commemorate 400th death anniversary of the painter from Milan. Although the play was performed in Italian, it attracted a wide Polish-Italian audience. The splendour was added to this evening by the presence of Aldo Mantovani, the Italian Ambassador to Poland, with his wife; Paola Ciccolella, the director of the Italian Institute of Culture in Warsaw; Alicja Wolska, an actress, and many other representatives of cultural circles. “Esperiente” was formed in Warsaw on the initiative of the Association of Italians in Warsaw in Poland. It consists of artists from Italy, Poland, Russia and Romania, and is open for people of all nationalities.

Alberto Macchi, the author of the play and its director, said: ‘The performance had its premiere at the Teatro Centrale in Italy in 1992 but over the course of years it was worked on. The painter’s life is an inspiration for showing a story of a man in all his psychological complexity. That’s why I decided to give it a title “The Man Caravaggio”, just as I entitled my book published by AETAS in Rome in 1995, written in liaison with professor Mina Gregori and opened with a foreword by professor Stefania Macioce. In the performance I also wanted to focus more on a man than a painter. A man who abhorred stupidity, which often led to being isolated „only in the company of his loneliness”. The artistic circles of that time described him as “more of a ruffian than a painter”. However, he wasn’t a man apt to violence or an “accursed painter”: his outburst were usually a reaction to the aggression of others. The themes presented in his paintings weren’t deprived of holiness – quite the contrary, he sanctified what was human. Anyway, my work is not a work of a critic, historian or an art historian, but a man of theatre, an explorer of the deepest recesses of the human soul and of the caves of emotions, who, after persistent investigation, reached the bottomless mine – the heart and soul of Caravaggio. This performance is a theatre of words and images at the same time, of various atmospheres and oneiric references in which you can find inspirations from Pasolini’s works when Shakespearean characters appear from the depths of the stage, stuck in space and lit by spotlight.

Giovanni Genco

Translated by: Iwona Białek