Scenes from an Archives

The world of theatre meets the stories contained in the volumes of the Archives.

The previously unpublished works – from episodes in the history of Naples, documented in the bank records of the Historical Archives – are produced by the Foundation and interpreted by the En Kai Pan theatre group.

Three of the works were put on stage in the month of October, November and December in the rooms using the evocative backdrop of the Archives and the plays will be reprised in the coming months at other historical locations in Naples.

Crudele d’Amor

The story of the murder of Maria d’Avalos and Fabrizio Carafa and the trial of Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa, Maria’s husband and his tormented conscience.

The quintessential Neapolitan story, complete with honor killings between real and invented characters, in a tragedy with a comical side.

The Republic of Utopia

Luisa Sanfelice and Serafina Vargas are two fully developed characters, the first well-known and celebrated even by Alexandre Dumas, the second nearly unknown.

Serafina Vargas is, in fact, one of the stories to emerge purely from the Archives.

The theatrical transposition recounts the love stories which took place during the Neapolitan revolution of 1799. “During the five months of the Republic, the great utopia is that of reinventing the city in order to make it a place where the dreams of happiness on earth can be cultivated.” (Il Denaro, November 17, 2015)

The performance is accompanied by 18th Century Neapolitan music performed in a contemporary key, to highlight the fact that the past can be interpreted anew.

Comedy in the Time of the Plague

Set in the time of the Plague, this play brings the life of Captain Matamaros, the famous actor known as Fiorillo, to the stage. Fibril was the first to play the part of Pulcinella in the theater, in the historic San Giovanni dei Genovesi sala in via Medina in Naples.

  The great actor had lost his job during the Plague of 1656 and stayed in the city with Arlecchino to take advantage of every possible opportunity to act.

This play is set during a tragic time, but it was also the backdrop for a series of events which are recorded in the Archives. The story of Captain Matamaros is one of them.