Guests: Al Bano, Madame, Il Volo

Popular Orchestra and Orchestra Notturna Clandestina conducted by maestro Enrico Melozzi.

Choreography by Thomas Signorelli

The Taranta to the rock sound of "Pizzica della Liberazione" returns to enchant the most eagerly awaited Apulian Night of the Italian summer and opens the doors, for the first time in the history of the event, of the Church of the Carmine lit up to its altar.

One thousand spectators represented the return to the applause and chants of the audience in Melpignano in front of the facade of the former Convent of the Augustinians, where usually, for each "Concertone", the Salentine pizzica involves a river of people.

A show between memory and vision, tradition and innovation: the three tenors of Il Volo sang one of the songs in Grico, symbol of the Salento tradition, Calinitta.

Madame, the concert master  together with Enrico Melozzi, the orchestra director, dressed in white, charmed the audience with "Rondinella", her hit "Marea" arranged in a pizzica key and "Dimmi ca nu me voi ca su piccinna", a song in which she expressed in her poetic language all the beauty of being "small" in love. She danced Madame wrapped in the white of the clothes woven with the ancient looms of Salento and created for her by Annalisa Surace of IJO' Design. She spoke of love and understanding. A strong message against all forms of division. Like her, Al Bano also spoke of the strong bond with the land. Of the bond with his roots, with his land. He paid homage to Modugno with "Amara terra mia" and gave the audience a rock version of "Na Na Na".

Two orchestras were on stage: the Orchestra Notturna Clandestina, a guest of the Orchestra Popolare della Taranta, which took over the artistic direction of the Concertone after the death of Daniele Durante and is the official ambassador of the pizzica in the world. The theme of the 24th edition was the value of freedom. In Melozzi and Madame's reinterpretation, traditional folk songs took on a new look.

 The Concertone opened with the Pizzica della liberazione, composed by the  concert master  Enrico Melozzi. Fimmene Fimmene, a song of  female pain recontextualised by the voices of the Orchestra, closed with the verse "Fimmene fimmene ausamula la voce e pe sta terra ca sta chiede pace. Fimmene Fimmene sta canzune ha cangiare! La terra è mamma non se po po abbandonare. In the countryside there is no one. Women women let's raise our voices for this land that is asking for peace. Women women this song must change The land is mother and cannot be abandoned. In the countryside there is no one left, only fire is the master".

Dance is also the protagonist, with choreography by Thomas Signorelli, performed by the Taranta dancers and academic dancers. Pictures of great emotional impact that introduce into the Fuecu scene the chairs of a popular feast set on fire at the end by the warmth of the community and the ladders of the olive pickers to recall the work and sacrifice of the peasants of Apulia.

The set design, a mix of looks at the 16th-century architecture of the Carmine church illuminated by cinematographer Marco Lucarelli and the futuristic vision of a 3D spider, was created by Marco Calzavara. The stage was surrounded by 35 monoliths of Salento's Mariano Light illuminations and some luminous totems on which images of Puglia were projected: Lago di Lesina, Castel del Monte, Bari, Brindisi, Taranto and Lecce.

An Apulian brand was chosen to dress the Orchestra, the dancers and Madame: IJO'.

Three original dresses were created for the maestra concertatrice, the one for "Rondinella" measuring thirty metres in length.

A hymn to sustainability, also embraced by Aquedotto pugliese, which installed dispensers for the free distribution of public water.

The Concertone, directed by Stefano Mignucci, with texts by Marco Zampetti and executive coordination by Cristiano D'Agostini, will be broadcast by RAI 1 on 4 September at 11.15 pm. "It is a challenge that we have accepted with enthusiasm", commented the deputy director of RAI 1 Angelo Mellone.

To ensure access to the disabled, the Integrazione Onlus Abil Festa has welcomed those who have booked to participate in the event.

The Notte della Taranta is a project of the Fondazione Notte della Taranta supported by the Apulia Region, the Union of Municipalities of Salento, the Diego Carpitella Institute in collaboration with Puglia Promozione. Main sponsor of the event D.M.J. Gruppo De Mariani.