“La Bottega Fantastica” by Luciano Cannito with the Rome Opera Ballet School

From November 29 until December 7 will be on stage at the Teatro Nazionale, La Bottega Fantastica, the Christmas Show by Rome Opera Ballet School directed by Laura Comi. This year the public will enjoy a ballet, evocative and suggestive with a new choreography that bears the signature of an artist much loved, Luciano Cannito. In this way he describes his Bottega Fantastica:

“It is a sparkling musical score, at times with some very catchy, well loved tunes, which preserves the refined taste of two great Italian Masters: Gioachino Rossini and Ottorino Respighi. On second thought this is one of the first examples of how ballet music was put together, a modus operandi that was to have a huge success throughout the twentieth century. In reality Rossini never wrote La Bottega Fantastica, but Respighi did it by assembling different pieces of Rossini. He re-orchestrated music, adapted keys, chose the most appropriate songs for the newly found dramatic subjects. He also made cuts, and took all necessary steps to put on stage Léonide Massine’s ballet. This is exactly what I did with the dramaturgy of the original ballet. I have preserved the setting of the toy’s workshop of course, but I have relocated it within a framework that didn’t ignore the immense theatrical and film production that tells stories about mysterious ateliers, Middle Eastern shops where you can find a bit ‘of everything including the Indiana Jones treasure maps, toy rooms that come alive at night like in Toy Story, robots, dolls and automata with a strong desire to become human. Also in here the line that marks the division between fantasy and reality is blurred. Of course there is also an old shopkeeper, who knows everything about the objects he sells, objects and toys that are practically his whole world. The original title is La Boutique Fantastique, I know, in French it sounds more chic, but I’m Italian like Rossini and Respighi, and the premiere will be performed in Rome therefore this is going to be a new version all-in Italian including the title. In my Bottega Fantastica you will see Roby, a tiny robot who, one night, runs away (just as all robots do) from uncle Jossef’s shop to go and find his young friend Pasqualino, a Neapolitan street urchin who had discovered the secret to bring ‘life and fun among the many toys in the store. My Bottega Fantastica is a magical and a bit of a ‘crazy place for all the audiences wanting to have fun, and get carried away by the overflowing joy of the dance, the power of the music, the pleasure of a smile and the fantastic energy of the excellent dancers of the Rome Opera Ballet School.”