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Year XVI -Issue 06 - 2000







Giulio Nascimbeni


Among the stones of the Roman Theatre of Verona, in the evenings of next summer, it will be represented the tragedy “Romeo and Juliet” that William Shakespeare wrote in 1594-95. And also this year the memory of whom loves the everlasting story will recall the 1948 edition directed by the Veronese director Renato Simoni, born in the Della Scala family town in 1875 and dead in Milan in 1952. Who was Simoni? Just retracing that 1948 play, the great Giorgio Strehler, in the thirtieth anniversary of Simoni's death, wrote:

“I remember Simoni with a gratefulness tenderness feeling. Tenderness for that far time when, young among other young theatre actors I was beside Simoni as an assistant in a 'Romeo and Juliet” edition in Verona and tried to help him as I knew (that was few) and I could (few, the same) among the thousand troubles of an open-air spectacle, with whatever means available, and beside a glorious old person, hard and tired and already ill, even if he did not want to admit it”.

It's right to make clear that the direction was a very little part of Simoni's activity, even if it's due to him the put in stage of excellent spectacles as “Aminta” by Tasso, “Adelchi” by Manzoni and the best loved Goldoni (“Il campiello”, “Le donne curiose”, “ I rusteghi”). Listing all what Simoni would take time: he was a comedy writer (“La vedova”, “Carlo Gozzi”, “Tramonto”, “Congedo”, “Il matrimonio di Casanova”), author of satirical magazines and opera literature.

The story of Simoni's life starts with poverty, with the image of his mother, widow that grew him and his sister Maria by applying for the friars' charity. The newspaper “L'Arena”, of which Simoni had been “art reporter “, hailed him with the fond rhetoric the epoch required: “Simoni has been the intellectual commensal the most sought-after at the Veronese table of the aesthetic interpretation “. The one hundred fifty kilometres between Verona and Milan were a remarkable distance by then. At the end it arises the dreams of glory, career, an unknown and all-enticing world. Got to the newspaper editorial staff of the “Tempo di Milano” before getting to the “Corriere della Sera”, had Simoni already forgotten the home dialect? Not at all.





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