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19 October 2016

The Great Duel between Orlando and Rinaldo for Beautiful Angelica’s sake

The Great Duel between Orlando and Rinaldo for Beautiful Angelica’s Sake

“Great was the goodness of knights of old”

Paris is under siege, many paladins have left Charlemagne's court, as they are all in love with the beautiful Angelica (the daughter of the king of Cathay) and in pursuit of her. The General Captain Orlando, the bravest of them all, has deserted the Court too, so that Charlemagne has to appoint Rinaldo as the commander of the French army. However even the righteous Rinaldo finally neglects his duty, and love-smitten, burning with passion for Angelica, he goes on a quest to challenge Orlando. The two paladins fight fiercely and look certain to kill each other, but for the suprising intervention of the wizard Carlo Magno.

From the late thirteenth century to the end of the Renaissance, Carolingian narratives centred on the deeds of Charlemagne, Roland and the peers of France enjoyed immense popularity in Italy at all levels of society. Some of the greatest writers of this period were attracted to the genre and produced in it their masterpieces.

Filled with battles, escapes, fantastic animals, and puppetry involving stage techniques developed over centuries this work is performed in Italian by the Associazione Figli d’Arte Cuticchio.  A one-off opportunity to experience traditional Italian puppetry from a company keeping  the puppet tradition alive today by performing at their jewel-box of a theatre in Palermo, organizing puppet festivals throughout Sicily and touring the world, from Paris and Berlin to Tokyo and Hanoi. Artistic Director Mimmo Cuticchio comes from a family with strong ties to the earliest Sicilian puppet masters, and he has played a fundamental role in the contemporary renewal of the opera dei pupi.

OPERA DEI PUPI is a marionette theatrical representation of Frankish romantic poems such as The Song of Roland or Orlando furioso that is one of the characteristic cultural traditions of Sicily and was proclaimed in 2001 and inscribed in 2008 in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.

Second puppetmaster: Giacomo Cuticchio

First puppetmaster: Mimmo Cuticchio

Handlers: Tania Giordano and Elisa Puleo


Associazione Figli d’Arte Cuticchio

The origins of what survives today in the puppet theatres of contemporary Sicily, the opera dei pupi, lie in the complex intermingling of cultural forms brought to the island by a series of powerful colonizers: first the ancient Greeks and later the imperial  Romans;  North-African Muslims; Byzantines; French Normans; and Spaniards.

Sicily is one of the world’s great original melting pots, and the roots of Sicilian culture are difficult to disentangle from the various foreign occupiers that in successive periods used the island as a stage for attempting political domination of the Mediterranean. One thing that can be said with certainty about the pupi tradition is that it draws on both ‘high’ cultural models – those of foreign import, largely literary and written – as well al ‘low’ – local, popular, and oral – forms with a continuous but elusive relationship to Sicily’s oldest native culture.


More information





Second puppetmaster:        Giacomo Cuticchio

First puppetmaster:              Mimmo Cuticchio

Handlers:                   Tania Giordano and Elisa Puleo

Street Two - Unreserved | Duration 60 Minutes no interval.


15 Childers St,

City West ACT 2601

Directions & Map

Monday - Friday

10am - 3pm


Also opens

1.5 hours prior

to performance.


02 6247 1223
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