Gaspare Balsamo


Buttita Chisciotte Colapesce


Pèriplo is the narration in the form of cunto and song of a Mediterranean journey, coast coast, as the navigations of the ancient peripli. Between the sides of the don quixotic comedy and those of the poetry of Buttitta evokes the ancient legend of the famous Colapesce. Cervantes himself, the author of Quixote, cites in his monumental work the famous swimmer, calling him Pescecola, and Buttitta in the last years of his life will write his theatrical text Colapesce.
Periplo takes its cues from these literary and theatrical suggestions to begin this navigation between myth, fantasy, music and poetry. Buttitta, Quixote, Colapesce, are the ports of the journey from which you start, you dock, you linger, you play, from which you move away, on which you drop rhythms and different ingredients and parallel languages.
It starts from Quixote. Sancio at the beginning of the show will tell us, in a comic and almost surreal scenario, the imaginary meeting in Messina (city visited by Cervantes in 1578 and where he had the opportunity to linger for some time during the concentration of Christian naval forces, departing for Lepanto) between don Quixote and Pescecola. Between the waters of the Scill’e Cariddi, Quixote and Colapesce have a vision: a giant sea serpent, which Sancho perhaps recognizes for what it really is: a bridge? The bridge between Scill and Charybdis? The hungry squire will think, after the battle against the snake/bridge, to refresh the two heroes in the apparent safety of a rock, but he does not know, Sancho, that those waters are stormed by sirens and that their bewitching song could reserve new and unexpected surprises. We leave them momentarily there, on that rock prey to the song of the shaman sirens. The narration of Periplo continues, navigating coast between the tight rhythms of the battle of Lepanto, moors in Algiers just the time to mention the meeting between Cervantes and Antonio Veneziano, contemporary poet to the author of Quixote.
Throw anchor on Buttitta between the powerful, rhetorical and grotesque evocation of the poet voice of the people. Circumnavigating with the cunto the legend of the famous swimmer, where a tyrant King launches the challenges to the silent Colapesce that only at the end, with the sung verses, will declare to Ninfa the woman from whom she expects a child, her marine sacrifice. It descends into the abyss where Cola supports the column that holds Sicily. Periplo returns to the mermaid rock.
How will it be over to our heroes? Still sing the thousand-one-night sirens?


by and with Gaspare Balsamo (cuntu)
music by and with Giovanni Arena (double bass)


About Us

Gaspare Balsamo is an actor, author, cuntist and theatre director, he learned from the master Mimmo Cuticchio the art of Sicilian cunto, of which he is now considered one of the greatest representatives of the new generation.
He is the author of several plays, of which he is also an interpreter, in which the cunto is an instrument of denunciations and unpublished passages.
He has collaborated with the Fondazione romaeuropa Festival and with the Fondazione Fiumara d’arte. He has collaborated with artists and music groups from the world of world music and popular music.
For radio he participated with Deutschlandradio Kultur in the radio drama project Orca, based on Horcynus Orca by Stefano D’Arrigo.
He is one of the protagonists of the documentary film Cuntami (2021) by Giovanna Taviani.
In 2021 he received the Irritec – SalinaDocFest XV award.

Among his shows are:
Camurria (2006), Muciara. Non è più un mare per tonni (2008), Isola Zavorra (2009),
Tratte-Harraga dei mari e dei deserti (2010), Tresssicilie. Abbecedario di decolonizzazione
(2011), Don Chisciotte in Sicilia (2012),
Uno come a Peppino (2013), Trinacria sulla luna, Pitrè senza gravità (2015), Ciclopu (2017), EpicaFera (2019), Omu a mari – Il cunto delle sirene (2021), Melos – Kouros di Sicilia (2021), Simposio di Platone – Il cuntu d’amore dei cattivi maestri (2023).


Giovanni Arena is a musician with many experiences. He has to his credit projects and musical formations such as Dounia, Libertango 5tet, Pocket Poetry Orchestra, Bastion of the
‘Nfetti, Goodwine Band, Luftig, Derailment Ensemble, Three Phase.
He has produced musical productions, arrangements and compositions for various Italian record companies, for theater performances, reading, musical theater and dance performances. Some of his songs have been used in film and documentary soundtracks, and as radio themes.
At the same time he carries out a compositional activity of chamber music and orchestral research, and some of his works have been performed in concerts and concert seasons such as
“Piano Day 2022”, “Concert Season 2019 of the Italian Institute of Culture in Moscow,
“Festival Percussioni 2020 Campobasso”, Concert season of Teatro Massimo V. Bellini of Catania, “Concert Season A.M.E. Catania”.
He has made numerous musical and theatrical tours, and has performed in prestigious national and international concerts in Italy, Brazil, Denmark, Poland, Turkey, England, Switzerland, Greece, Tunisia, Portugal, France.

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