“Event”, a word that can properly be used for “FRATE SOLE”, the film-concert that will be performed on 27th April, at the reborn Teatro Apollo in Lecce, conducted by Gioele Muglialdo.
April 27th 2019 | 8:45 pm
Lecce, Teatro Apollo
Easter and Summer Festival
“FRATE SOLE” – cineconcert
Gioele Muglialdo, conductor
Orchestra Sinfonica di Lecce e del Salento
Coro Opera in Puglia
Emanuela Aymone, chorus master
“Event” is undoubtedly an overused word in these culturally confused times of ours, but one that can safely be used for “Frate Sole”, the film-concert that will be performed on 27th April, at the reborn Teatro Apollo in Lecce, with the “Orchestra Sinfonica e Coro di Lecce e del Salento” conducted by Gioele Muglialdo. We are talking, of course, of Saint Francis of Assisi, an exceptional, hieratic figure who fascinates believers and non-believers alike, and who has inspired numerous films. “Frate Sole” was the very first one and is a milestone in the history of Italian filmmaking.
The year was 1918 (the first screening took place at Rome’s Augusteo) and the people who worked on this “colossal” were prestigious: Luigi Mancinelli – one of the most important conductors of the late 19th and early 20th century, the advocate of Wagnerism in Italy and ”father” of the success of Cavalleria Rusticana – composed the complex score entitled “Poema sinfonico e corale in quattro canti di Luigi Mancinelli, per la visione storica di Mario Corsi” (Symphonic and Choral Poem in four cantos by Luigi Mancinelli, for the historical film by Mario Corsi). The latter wrote the story and screenplay, and was the film’s director together with Ugo Falena, another prominent figure of the day. Even the costumes were created by a celebrity, one of the great exponents of Art Nouveau in Italy: Duilio Cambellotti.
film is inspired by the Cantico written by Saint Francis in Umbrian vernacular shortly before his death (1226), which celebrates the Creator by extolling His creatures: water, fire, the stars, the moon and death. From it, Mario Corsi drew four episodes: “The Leper’s kiss”, “On the Footprints of the Pauper of Assisi”, “The Temple” and “The Stigmata”.
The film was restored in 1998 by the “Cineteca Italiana”, and the score has been revised and re-synchronized with the images by Gioele Muglialdo, one of the film-concerto’s greatest experts, who has earned international renown with prestigious performances such as “Metropolis” by Fritz Lang.
“Frate Sole”, often screened in spurious versions or with non-original soundtracks, has hardly enjoyed, in recent times, the success it deserves; that is why it is quite possible that the Lecce performance will open the path to its renaissance, as indeed suggested by the many requests that have arrived from Italy and beyond, and the many engagements already signed for a performance of this authentic version, entirely faithful to the original.