Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Golden Anniversary of Arlecchino in One Body

Gian has provided another juicy tidbit that is ripe for publication here. It is largely the translation of a blog entry that first appeared, in Italian, on the Guiness World Records website. All, except for the last sentence, which is a personal reflection provided by Dr. Colli. To quote one of our members, it makes the news all the more “badass!”

To see the original post, and test your Italian language skills click here.

And Now For the News

The Italian actor Ferruccio Soleri, who still performs the role of Harlequin in Goldoni's The Servant of Two Masters directed by Giorgio Strehler, entered the Guinness Book of Records as the actor that has performed the same character for the longest period of time: 1960-2010, fifty years.

Apparently, according to the Guinness World Records committee, the only other competitor was James O'Neill (1847-1920), father of the playwright Eugene. James O'Neill performed more than six thousand times the role of the Count of Monte Cristo, but during a period of only thirty years.

Tomorrow, Soleri, who is eighty years old and still in great shape, will perform The Servant of Two Masters for the 2065th time... The first time was on February 28, 1960, in New York, when he replaced Marcello Moretti, the actor who had been performing Harlequin since 1947, when the production of the Piccolo Teatro di Milano (Little Theatre of Milan) opened for the first time.

In a few articles and interviews though, Soleri recalls that the first time he performed Harlequin was not in Strehler's production. It was in 1955, in a production of Goldoni's La figlia obbediente (The Obedient Daughter) at the National Academy of Dramatic Art, in Rome, where he was studying acting.

And here's the "badass" part, straight from the truth to Gian's finger tips...

The director of the production, a graduating student director of the same Academy, was my father, Giacomo Colli (...who was not a Don).