A shadow puppet show about the cycles of life and death.
Once Upon a Time, back when there were orchids adorning the abandoned walls of the Colosseo, there lived a woman, La Contessa Elisabetta Fiorini, who knew so much about moss that it was said she could communicate with the stuff… This is where our tale begins…
Contessa is a “historical fable” based on events in the life of a real Roman botanist, La Countessa Elisabetta Fiorini, who really did study mosses, and who was one of the few people who opposed the cleaning of the Colosseo in 1874.
But, as we know today, her attempts to save the orchids, trees, and moss within the Colosseo were not successful. And when it is not possible to save everything, it becomes a question of choice: What do we choose to preserve?
This fable is told with shadow puppetry and music, and like all good fables, it posits a lesson: that life is made from many cycles of death and rebirth. We see this in the often tragic life of Fiorini, and in the history of the Colosseo, and where these stories intersect we have La Contessa dei Muschi.
La Contessa dei Muschi debuted at Incanti International Figure Theatre Festival in Torino, Italy. It received first place as part of The Cantiere Project (2017). Live musical scoring and composition by Livia Ferri.