The Italian Puppet Theater

A History


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About the Book

This is the first full-length, English language study of Italian puppetry. Chapters describe Italy’s rich puppet theater tradition through the end of the eighteenth century; the golden age of glove puppets, marionettes and pupi; commedia dell’arte and the puppet stage; the evolution of repertoires; music and spectacle; and changes during the twentieth century. Concluding chapters offer in-depth studies of two marionette companies, Turin’s Lupi and Catania’s Fratelli Napoli. Rich in photographs, the book includes 28 color plates.

About the Author(s)

John McCormick, theater historian and founder of the Drama Department of Trinity College Dublin, has been a practicing puppeteer since the 1950s. His books include studies of nineteenth- and twentieth-century French and British theater, popular puppetry in nineteenth-century Europe, and the Victorian marionette theater.
Alfonso Cipolla, lecturer at the University of Turin and theater critic, has published extensively on puppet theatre.
Alessandro Napoli, a teacher and author of a major study of the Catanian puppet theatre, belongs to a puppet family.

Bibliographic Details

John McCormick with Alfonso Cipolla and Alessandro Napoli
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 312
Bibliographic Info: 127 photos (28 in color), appendix, glossary, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4346-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments      v

Introduction      1

1. To the End of the Eighteenth Century      9

2. The Golden Age: Glove-Puppets      31

3. The Golden Age: Marionettes and Pupi      52

4. The Commedia dell’Arte and the Puppet Stage      82

5. Saints, Paladins and Bandits      107

6. The Creation of New Repertoires      136

Between pages 154 and 155 are 16 color plates containing 28 photographs

7. Music and Spectacle      155

8. The Twentieth Century      188

9. Two Centuries of the Lupi Company of Turin (Alfonso Cipolla)      215

10. The Fratelli Napoli Puppet Company: The Catanian Opira from

1921 Until Today (Alessandro Napoli)      232

Appendix: Diagrams      249

Glossary      255

Chapter Notes      257

Bibliography      281

Index      289