Theme 2023: women in popular music


Emiliano statement link


Di Bari statement link


Patruno statement link

 Mannoia statement link


Manera statement link


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link promo Notte della Taranta

FIORELLA MANNOIA is the concertmaster of the 26th edition of the Concertone de La Notte della Taranta, Italy's largest festival and one of the most significant events on popular culture in Europe, scheduled for Aug. 26 in Melpignano (LE).

This was announced by Apulia Region President Michele Emiliano and Fondazione Notte della Taranta President Massimo Manera at a press conference held this morning in Bari, which was attended by councilwoman in charge of culture Grazia Di Bari, Apulia Region culture department director Aldo Patruno and Melpignano Mayor Valentina Avantaggiato.


Apulia Region President Michele Emiliano, speaking at a press conference, said, "We are talking about one of the most identifiable artists on the Italian and international music scene. She is obviously a person of extraordinary quality who has interpreted her role with freedom, independence, without ever resigning herself to the commonplaces of the star system. So he is a personality that fits very well with our Notte della Taranta, a place of freedom, identity, precisely, but also independence from clichés and banalities. I am very happy and I confess that she is one of my favorite artists as well. Her presence was hidden even from me until the very last and this pleasantly created the surprise effect.

Ms. Mannoia sang some of the most beautiful songs dedicated to women: men should lower their eyes in front of this great female humanity."

On the Notte della Taranta, in particular, the president was keen to point out that it is "first of all a great event on a cultural and musical level, then indirectly, like any major cultural event, it also has a very positive tourism effect. The two elements always hold together, that of tourism and culture. Because, as I have always said, for us first of all the principle of welcoming applies to anyone who wants to come here to our land, tourists or not. I am referring to all kinds of migratory flows: they are brothers who come to relieve themselves but also to us. Their presence strengthens our DNA, our economy, but above all they give us a glimpse of the world that, without them, we would miss. They are an asset, as I always reiterate, and I hope that Europe, sooner or later, and all of Italy will understand this."
When asked what Mannoia's favorite song was, she said, "the one that makes men feel embarrassed in front of their own mistakes and that goes 'women always say another yes.'"


Visibly emotional Fiorella Mannoia recalled her experience on the Taranta stage. "I first went up in 2016 invited by Carmen Consoli and sang Cardilledda and Lu Zinzale. It is an honor and a privilege to have been called as a master concertmaster. I would like to do a female-driven Notte della Taranta, emphasizing women's stories. The women of the folk tradition are sung in songs that are seemingly light but hid great meanings behind the words, and on which we would like to entertain ourselves, stories of labor, abuse, exploitation. We have a duty to preserve this history, because if we do not know where we come from, we do not even know where we are going.

It is culture that unites peoples, that makes us recognize each other, without this cultural exchange that our country has been nourished by that is a mestizo. We are affected by Arab, Spanish, Greek influence, we are a mestizo, this we have to emphasize, this will be my goal, giving space to the percussive part, without which it would not be Taranta. I think percussion is the link that has united all cultures, and so we hope to work together with Carlo Di Francesco and Clemente Ferrari in this respect. I will choose the songs that call for women as protagonists, but not only that, we will choose them together with the folk orchestra, which I met in 2016 and noted their skill, seriousness and competence. The expectation is great and we will try our best. I am very excited and gratified by this assignment, I hope to rise to the occasion because the Notte della Taranta is a big thing."

And answering journalists' questions, she added, "We are researching traditional songs that have as their theme women and their complaints about the world of work, they worked from morning to night, they were often abused, they often felt caged. There is work to be done and we are committed to the research. The Notte della Taranta is a night of culture because beyond the entertainment, and beyond the 200,000 people we have in front of us, it is a night of repurposing, a great privilege. I realize that I am going to work for something very important for Puglia and for Italy."


The Director of the Department of Tourism and Culture Apulia Region, Aldo Patruno said "Fiorella Mannoia is an extraordinary artist: her meeting with the Notte della Taranta marks a further evolutionary step in this great experience, now in its 26th edition. One of the highlights of the unique schedule of cultural activities and live entertainment in our region: the Concertone preceded by the traveling folk festival, which crosses the entire Grecìa Salentina. So popular music, live entertainment, big events and big names for a revival and promotion of Puglia more and more through Culture and Entertainment. This is the choice we have made and announced in this first part of the year in all the big national fairs, including BTM in Bari: we no longer need a generalist promotion of Puglia, everyone knows our Region in Italy and around the world. Instead, we need to increasingly position Puglia-a great region of the South-as a great region of culture, hospitality and wellbeing. The Notte della Taranta is in some ways the spearhead of this path."


Regional councilwoman in charge of culture Grazia di Bari said, "We are happy that Fiorella Mannoia has agreed to be the concertmaster of this edition of the Notte della Taranta. An edition that will see women as protagonists, with popular female songs. Events like the Notte della Taranta, among the most popular festivals in the world make our Puglia great, which is also becoming more and more known for its great cultural offerings. An event that passes on our tradition and manages in each edition to maintain its uniqueness. With culture we support the economy of our region, just think that for every euro invested for the Notte della Taranta there is a return of 4 euros. Culture is vital for Puglia."


For Luca Scandale, director general of Pugliapromozione: "The Notte della Taranta is a tourism accelerator for Salento and for all of Puglia. Already 20 years ago it was the fuse that led to exploding attention to an area through a fusion of traditional culture, innovation and tourism: these are precisely the pillars on which we are working for the Puglia 3x6x5 Strategic Plan."


"The decision to entrust Fiorella Mannoia with the role of maestro concertante," said Notte della Taranta foundation president Massimo Manera, "is a very important forward choice, as has been the case in recent years. She is very happy with this assignment, she will bring us the Irish red and brio. Fiorella Mannoia has already been a guest of the Notte della Taranta, in what is not just a Concertone but a party where you create relationships among friends. This is the Melpignano Concertone, a great day of celebration that closes the Festival that animates the squares of Salento. Mannoia's will be a feminine look at music, at arrangements."

"After working on the music," added Creative Director of the Notte della Taranta Foundation Gabriella Della Monaca, "we will do in-depth research on the texts of the songs that have women as protagonists. And we are entrusting this task to one of the greatest interpreters of Italian song, who with her sensitivity will lead us to discover the dreams of Ninnella mia, the story of Cecilia who in order to save her beloved seduces the captain, Cesarina invoked by the inmate in the prisons of Lecce. Then again the symbolism of the rose and the metaphors of popular poets. The Concertone will also pay homage to Italo Calvino on the centenary of his birth by setting to music some stories from the collection Fiabe Italiane."


The mayor of Melpignano Valentina Avantaggiato pointed out that "Melpignano is the town where this path was born, where the Notte della Taranta was born, it is an honor to host and welcome this contamination with all the people coming from all over Italy. It is an honor for us to have Fiorella Mannoia as the concert master of this edition, an all-round artist whom I personally admire very much also for her social, political and civil commitment and who through her songs and her art but also through her daily commitment has managed to build humanity. So to imagine that this year she can organize our orchestra and with them take up our songs that speak of work, of exploitation, leads us even more to appreciate our riches from which we need to start again to make culture that is cultural growth of an area d therefore a healthy and sustainable development that leaves no one behind."


One of the greatest interpreters of Italian song, a career full of prestigious awards and extraordinary successes with 21 platinum and 6 gold records, Fiorella Mannoia interprets stories and melodies with delicacy and unique involvement. A story, hers, of music, social commitment and solidarity that is an inspiration to all women.

The concertmaster has already participated in the Notte della Taranta as a special guest in 2016 and is the fourth woman, after Carmen Consoli, Andrea Mirò and Madame, to direct the big live event of the Apulian summer. Fiorella Mannoia will bring to the Melpignano stage the stories of women protagonists of the songs of work, protest and love of the Salento folk tradition.

Mannoia will be joined by music producer and percussionist Carlo Di Francesco and conductor and arranger Clemente Ferrari.

After last year's extraordinary success with two hundred thousand attendees in Melpignano, the goal is to deliver to the public a unique cultural work that knows how to combine the past with the future through the eyes of women.

In the 2023 edition, the thematic research of the Concertone will focus on the words of popular texts by enhancing the poetics of the verses through the profound interpretation of the master concertmaster who will dialogue with the 21 members of the Popular Orchestra and Italian and international guests.

A feminine narrative to retrace the stages of the emancipation journey women have made from tarantismo to the present day, moving from labor union claims to rebellion over a destiny imposed by others. Women's music in Salento accompanied human affairs and saw women play a decisive role in the entire community. Weavers of social relations and custodians of age-old wisdom, Salento women sang out of deep cultural necessity: imparting rhythm to the hard work of each day, entertaining the young, cradling newborns, celebrating religious rituals, sighing over unrequited love and, above all, defeating all fear. A tale punctuated by the rhythm of the tambourine with the hypnotic and overwhelming pizziches of the tradition that embraces the contemporaneity of percussion.


The artistic direction of the Concertone has been entrusted since 2021 to the eclectic Orchestra Popolare della Taranta, a witness to the Salento cultural renaissance that changed the history of pizzica by exporting it to the world. Born in 2004 within the Melpignano Concertone, the group of popular musicians and singers is now an undisputed leader in the world music scene. Tradition and constant innovation, unique and unmistakable sound, the Orchestra is characterized by the multitude of fascinating sound paths born from collaborations with artists met on the Melpignano stage. On tour abroad, the Taranta Orchestra sets the squares of the world ablaze and represents Italian Popular Culture in the most prestigious international contexts. Every year the Orchestra, acclaimed by the public and critics, leads the Concertone di Melpignano, which in the last quarter of a century has fostered the birth of new groups and new festivals related to the pizzica by promoting all activities related to the recovery and revival of popular traditions. The set of songs and dances proposed by the Orchestra during 25 years of the Notte della Taranta, today represent a speaking archive of excellence.


The Melpignano Concertone is a cultural project of the La Notte della Taranta Foundation supported by the Region of Puglia in collaboration with Unione dei Comuni della Grecìa salentina. Diego Carpitella Institute and Pugliapromozione.


Official hashtags #taranta26 #WeAreinPuglia