Daniele Piscopo: The theatre is the theatre, a magic box where you can touch the velvets, smell the stage and listen to live human voices. <\em>

Born in Varese in 1986, he graduated from the Liceo Artistico A. Frattini of Varese, Academy section, with an evaluation of 100/cent. with a thesis entitled “The dynamics of human movement from Michelangelo to Boccioni”. He continued his studies at the State University of Milan, graduating in Science of Cultural Heritage, History of Art section with an evaluation of 102/110, presenting a thesis entitled “La Badia di Ganna e il culto di San Gemolo” (The Abbey of Ganna and the cult of San Gemolo) under the supervision of Prof. Gianfranco Fiaccadori. He obtained his second degree at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara in Decoration with an assessment of 110/110, writing and performing a thesis entitled “Don Giovanni 2.0” under the guidance of the artist Antonia Ciampi. He has carried out an intense singing activity as a baritone soloist at the major Italian and foreign opera houses such as the San Carlo in Naples, the Carlo Felice in Genoa, the Palau de les arts in Valencia and many others. Master in Opera Direction at the Verona Opera Academy with a project of direction, sets, lights and costumes for the opera Un ballo in maschera by Giuseppe Verdi. He continued his artistic activity in the fields of painting, sculpture and photography, taking part in events such as the International Forum of Culture in St. Petersburg as part of the ‘Accademia Italia’ exhibition, selected from among the best students from Italian fine arts academies. For 10 years he has been carrying out an intense educational activity with primary, secondary and high schools, where every year he proposes and realises activities and educational paths linked to the world of art and music. President and artistic director of the StormArt Cultural Association.

The thesis you chose to take at your graduation from the Liceo Artistico A. Frattini in Varese was entitled “The dynamics of human movement from Michelangelo to Boccioni”: perhaps, in retrospect, we could say that your directing career was already foreseeable! However, to classify you as a mere director would be reductive: of all the artistic disciplines in which you have specialised (you are a painter, sculptor, graphic designer, photographer, set designer and musician), which do you feel is more yours?

Dear Viviana, first of all thank you for this nice question: you know, when you prepare a curriculum to send to theatres you spend a lot of time deciding what is important and what is not, it may seem bizarre or uninteresting to give so much importance to a high school essay, but for me it is the beginning of everything. The dynamics of human movement from Michelangelo to Boccioni represents for me a thought, a style, a mindset. “I start with Michelangelo, who was able to bring out of a cold and defenceless block the overwhelming power of the perfection of the human body, and then I arrive at the power of the machine, at speed, at the wind that sculpts shapes as it does in Boccioni”, and my aim is to bring all this into the theatre. For me, a show, especially an opera show, is the highest form of art where all spheres of the professions converge. I strongly believe that you must first and foremost be a craftsman, able to do anything, because in the theatre you need to be able to do everything.

You have a degree in Science of Cultural Heritage, Art History section: what did such a sensitising course of study offer you? What has it taught you most about your current profession and the man you have become?

I’ll tell you a little secret: at the end of my high school diploma in art, I immediately went to enrol in scenography at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts, very sure of my choice. After a few weeks I accompanied a friend of mine to the opendays at the Statale and I was struck by that world, so much so that I changed my mind and enrolled in the Cultural Heritage Sciences course, a choice that gave me the opportunity to enter the Conservatory in the singing class. With hindsight, perhaps it would have been easier to enrol in scenography, but easy things are boring, so I prefer to follow the more winding roads, which are certainly more tiring but which teach you how to live and overcome the most difficult obstacles. My career as an art historian has taught me the basics of our culture, which bases its history on the exaltation of beauty, the search for creativity and the infinite desire to be enraptured by art, in all its forms. 

Read the entire interview here, in the 5th/2021 issue of OPERA Charm Magazine.

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