The first news
regarding the return of the mask of the puppet Baciccia,
of the Genovesian Theatre of the late 18th century, goes back to the winter
of 1943 during the last conflict when, in a Nazi concentration camp,
a young captive cheered the evenings in comrade of its companions with
one old stocking painted like a puppet. The voice was that one with the
typical genovesian cadence of a fisherman ... exactly that one of Baciccia
(in genovesian is John Baptist) to which Mario Magonio added the family
name "of the Radiccia" nearly to evidence the popular origins..
and so he become
Baciccia della Radiccia
first true Puppet Theatre of Mario Magonio goes back up to the year 1947
which when in the oratory of the Church of Nostra Signora delle Vigne, in
center of old Genoa, every Sunday afternoon was presented a show of
for the little boys of the Parish.
of this small puppet company, in that oratory that already in the past century
had presented prestigious Puppet Theatres, were Mario Magonio and a young priest
Don Francesco Urbano just arrived in the Parish.
The first was already
lover of Theatre, young fanciful and shining the second,
they created one ideal couple full of ideas. With old stoppers of the Val Gardena
they constructed the puppet, personally sewed the dresses and with
painting and pastels they designed
the scene of their small
Theatre: a outside-castle, a inner-house, a
bewitched forest and how
much served for their first commedy that they wrote together.
The original text
unfortunately has gone lost, but it remains news that
the central personages of the history were Baciccia of the Radiccia and the wife Texinin
whose quarrels, in style with commedies of Gilberto Govi, become very appreciated
in the small world of the children and the relative parents who were frequent
and assiduous spectators of those shows.
Price of the ticket of
entrance in currency of that time: only Ten Liras
Subsequently in 1951, stated
the enormous success, they decided to realize
a new Great Theatre of string puppets with the considerable dimensions
3 meters x 2 meters with one high bridge 2.5 meters from floor that could
receive until three puppeters. The scene were redesigned for fitting to
that various type of show, the puppets, nearly all maneuvered with 7 strings,
were high 80 cm and the new book-stories, some drafts from the classic
as Pinocchio and Cenerentola, had the largest appreciation of the public.
But all this did not exalt the artistic spirit of Magonio that found
more spontaneous the old beloved glove-puppets.
reputation of the its small Theatre become very famous in city and
1953, Fratel Fiorenzo Director of the School Negrone Durazzo
of The Brothers of the Christian
Schools gave him the opportunity to begin a series of appointments with the parents and the students of the School, picked the
occasion in order to return to the old beloved glove-puppets, his first love.
Theatre will be reconstructed, whose proscenio measured 4 mt. x 3 mt,
the Masks of puppets will be restored, the dresses will be rendered more
scenes became rich of lighting and sound effects, the Company enroled
elements reaching the record to handle eight puppets in scene at the
same time. The succes was huge, the theater was collecting every show beyond
500 persons, and the show were presented every Thursday at 21.00 for
beyond three scholastic years.
In that occasion
the last 15 minutes of recital
were dedicated to the adults with the amusing sketch between wife and
husband, Baciccia and Texinin, that became therefore an amusing appointment
for the grandfathers and the parents who crowded the theater transforming the
occasion of the show in a city event.
Thanks to a donation
of puppets heads, belonged previously to the precious
collection of the
father of the well known On. Taviani, new personages joined the
initial cast of the company with new customs in velvet and brocade:
The Duke of
with the trusted black servant
the great stammering friend of Baciccia,
imported in the company because
very loved from the smaller
The mask of "Baciccia
was always present in Genoa in
the years 60/70. There was'nt a birthday in the noble and rich families in Genoa that did not offer
a show of Puppets of Magonio, also any
cultural or benefic manifestation had the
presence of the small Theatre of the Wizard Magonio.
In the 1974/75 in
collaboration with the newborn
Teatro della Tosse
of the great Tonino Conte were
organized in the schools of Genoa and Province and the
shows, animated also with the presence of young actors of the Teatrof della
Tosse, obtained large success from the pupils and teachers.
In 1976 with the collaboration of a
famous actress Angela Valle and with the administrative supervision of
Lazzeroni was founded the theather
Compagnia Teatrale La Giostra
that integrated the puppet show of Burattini with the presence of actors
interpretating on the stage a continuous dialogue with puppets and children.
of the show obtained appreciation from the little public that
continued to love
Baciccia, and the skilful Angela that interpreted the
Fairy Angelina or the
years passed and Magonio
continued to amuse its young public...
Mario Magonio in years 1980
begins to attend, after the his evening performances,
the Ancient Trattoria
Colombo at Genoa in Borgo
This trattoria, founded in 1957, was the
point of encounter of actors, singers and cabaret performers growing in Genoa
in those years, and it was at those tables that, while a genuine genovesian specialty
was tasted, were born new encounters,
storyboards and new collaboration ideas.
And still today, although Mario Magonio
is 92 years old, he and Angela Valle continue to present their
Puppet Theatre with the same passion and the same love for the little public who
has spurred them from decades to limestone the scenes