The journey of Captain Matamoros

Tales of migration

I viaggi di Capitan Matamoros is a festival of Commedia dell’Arte set in different monumental locations of Naples. The project is been conceived and realized for the first time in 2014 by coop. En Kai Pan in partnership with Associazione Teatrale Aisthesis, with the aim of increasing the knowledge of the huge artistic heritage of the city using theatre and the genre that most represets Naples in the world. Captain Matamoros is, in fact, the character made famous by the Napolitan Silvio Fiorillo, who formed an irresistable comic duo with the first Arlecchino Tristano Martinelli. Fiorillo was the first actor who weared the mask of Pulcinella yet, performing in the ‘stanza’ of San Giorgio dei Genovesi in 1609.
The journey is the real topos of Commedia dell’Arte, because, during the golden age of European theatre, from XVI to XVIII century, the Italian comedians travelled across Europe, performing in squares and courts and creating the myth of Italian Comedy. Candidate for becoming UNESCO heritage, Commedia dell’Arte is an archetypal language understood in all the world and is able to fascinate a great audience, made of adults and children, people with a high or low cultural background, students, specialists and tourists.
In three editions of I viaggi di Capitan Matamoros, we promoted the night opening of very important artistic locations (Farmacy of the Hospital of Santa Maria del Popolo degli Incurabili, Historical Archive of Banco di Napoli, State Archives of Naples, Basilica of San Giovanni Maggiore, Museum Hermann Nitsch, Church of San Gennaro all’Olmo, Palazzo dello Spagnolo, Convent of San Domenico Maggiore, Monastery of Donnaregina – Diocesan Museum). We entered in partenership with important public and private istitutions (Municipality of Naples, Regional Government, University “Orientale”, Banco di Napoli Foundation). In these years our audience is grown and we are been able to involve different targets. Born as a valorization project, I viaggi di Capitan Matamoros is become a real international festival, hosting artists from other countries and promoting residencies and scholarships, with the aim of improving the dialogue between different performative traditions and stimulating the research on the relationship between tradition and contemporaneity with workshops, masterclasses, meetings and lectures of great personalities of international theatre.
I viaggi di Capitan Matamoros is still growing: we entered in partnership with Arlecchino Errante of Pordenone (Italy)– a twenty years old festival of Commedia dell’Arte – with the aim of building a bridge between the North-Italian tradition and the Southern one, and with the Satyricon Theatre of Moscow (Russia), for making a cultural exchange between Italian tradition and Russian one.
The 2017’s edition will have an important application in social themes yet, hosting the perfomance born during the project L’altro nello sguardo dell’altro (The other in the other’s eye), developed by Associazione Teatrale Aisthesis in partnership with the communities of immigrants from Africa and Pakistan who are living in Campania. In this way the artistic locations of Naples will become a place where the Community can enjoy a complete artistic and human experience, meeting international cultures, tourists and artists and looking at the immigrants with no prejudices.