“Francesco” by Angelo Branduardi in Genova, Arena del Mare, on July 29th, 2004

The minstrel has landed at our town once again in order to delight our eyes and ears with a complete show. That isn’t a concert in the true sense of the word, but a genuine opera with a religious subject, a musical inspired by the life and works of Saint Francis of Assisi.

In spite of the religious matter, which was transposed in its exact historical documentation, the show is connoted with a light tune in the positive sense of the word.
As a matter of fact Branduardi focused on the human aspect of the Saint from Assisi more than on his holiness, which is however elevated to a final elegy. The minstrel has been telling us the story of Francesco, who was torn by doubts, had a life full of suffering and privation, exposed himself to dangers and was often misunderstood. But the famous musician is also telling us about Francesco’s joy and enthusiasm in living in extreme poverty and spirituality, in devoting his own entire life to the quest for truth, to the pursuit of happiness through the real awareness of himself.

The work delivers this message: true happiness lies in self-consciousness, in becoming aware of what we want to achieve in our life, in the patience, in the waiting, in the non-passive acceptance of our destiny.

The stage was divided in two adjoining sectors, which were at the same time opposed and synchronized.
On the right-hand side of the stage Angelo Branduardi, the unmatched minstrel of our age who sings about past times, can play many instruments with perfect technical virtuosity and also with great emotional involvement (guitar, harmonica, pipe, panpipes, and of course, last but not least, his famous violin) accompanied by two clever musicians on bass and keyboard.

On the left side of the stage the ballet company, composed of young skilful dancers, created a convivial atmosphere of colours, sounds, images, words and movements which were perfectly synchronized with the Maestro’s music.

The minstrel ignited his audience’s enthusiasm by playing with his usual charm and lightness one of his oldest tracks, “Confessioni Di Un Malandrino”, in order to thank his public for the standing ovation full of emotion which sprang up spontaneously just as the latest note of his music was still echoing in the evocative setting of Porto Antico.

©® Annalisa Ghigo
Agosto 2004
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