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il combattimento in liquido

musical arrangements by Scott Gibbons
based on the madrigals of Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
performed by the Ensemble Concerto
Roberto Gini, conducting

for Romeo Castellucci's
Il Combattimento

Lavinia Bertotti soprano
Mario Cecchetti tenore
Vincenzo Manno tenore
Salvo Vitale basso
Roberto Gini clavicembalo and voice
Massimo Percivaldi violino and violincello

Kunsten Festival des Arts (BELGIUM):
"Following the principle of a chemical experiment, Gibbons' music acts as verification of the madrigals' astounding characteristics... the same emotions, the same melodies, but as if heard by a foetus in the womb. Monteverdi's music talks of life's battles. Confronting the original with its own estrangement in limbo and with no previous cultural memory helps realise the value of these amazing quiverings."

Expresso (PORTUGAL):
"The music acquires an almost material reality... One is treated to see with the ears and to hear with the eyes. In that respect it is one of the most interesting works of musical stage that I could attend in recent times."

Production: KunstenFESTIVALdes Arts, Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio in coproduction with Wiener FestWochen, Holland Festival, Biennale di Venezia, Le Maillon -Théâtre de Strasbourg and with the support of Teatro Bonci - Cesena

"Monteverdi is from sufficiently long ago to belong to the future"
- Romeo Castellucci

Il Combattimento in liquido is a unique union of Early and contemporary New Music. Romeo Castellucci is a true revolutionary of contemporary theatre; his company Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio creates visually startling and conceptually revolutionary theater that is viscerally and turbulently unforgettable. Scott Gibbons has been creating electroacoustic music for nearly two decades, and many of his early works are widely regarded as seminal recordings. Roberto Gini is a skillful conductor of the Baroque repertoire whose Ensemble Concerto has achieved top level status in their field. The combined efforts of these artists have resulted in something altogether new, which defies easy categorization or comprehension. It embraces the medieval madrigal form with as much respect - and disregard - as it does contemporary trends in electronic music. Period instruments are used to most accurately represent the medieval score. These are the basis for Gibbons' experimentation in his own electroacoustic sound studio laboratory.

Il Combattimento in liquido takes as it's focus the text and musical themes of Monteverdi's Eighth Book of Madrigals. Gini's interpretation is informed by his study of Monteverdi also as painter. He approaches Monteverdi's vocal music as being among the first to explore the physicality of the human vocal instrument. Gibbons executes further research in this direction - clarity is brought to the breath of the singers, to the structure of the mouth as a bodily organ. Gibbons also employs Monteverdi's maverick techniques of interrupted phrases and the superimposition of separate dramas. But there is also an alchemical approach (Monteverdi was eulogized as a "Gran proffessor della Chimica"), which attempts to get at the core elements of the arrangement, and to manufacture an altogether new harmonious balance.

Il Combattimento performances include: debut May 2000 - Kunsten Festival des Arts (Brussels), Wiener Festwochen (Vienna), Holland Festival (Amsterdam), Biennale Teatro (Venice), Festival d’automne (Paris) and Théâtre du Maillon (Strasbourg).

Honoured on several occasions with the UBU award, Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio was singled out in 2000 for the 7th Prix Europe -Nouvelles Réalités Théâtrales by the Union of Theatres of Europe and the European Theatre Convention. Il Combattimento is their third production with the music of Scott Gibbons, following Giulio Cesare and Genesi: from the museum of sleep. For the present, Gibbons continues the research with the Socìetas on Tragedia endogonidia in the direction of an "organic theatre" which is constantly mutating and advancing, like an organism which explodes out of the shell of theatre to embrace new combinations of contemporary and classic art.