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2015 Il paese dei Coppoloni and Qu'Art de Siècle

Il paese dei Coppoloni and Qu'Art de Siècle

Where do you come from? Who do you belong to?

Release: 31st March 2015

Editor: Feltrinelli

Presentation: Feltrinelli bookstore in Milan, 9th April 2015

Awards: Carlo Levi Prize, runner-up at Strega Prize


...What are you looking for? This is what the singer-teller was asked in his father's lands. He wanders through these places with a sharp gaze and a memory full of stories. And he is told many stories by some figures who carried fate with them, who had the task of guiding him into his path. Places and people sound with their "nicknames": Scatozza "tamer of trucks", Mandarino, la TotaraCazzariegghio, Pacchi Pacchi, Capodiuccello, Camoia, la Marescialla: each one of them warns the wanderer, each one warns him, each one seems the guardian of a truth that the more is about us, the more it is out of History. 


The wanderer must answer, along with the reader, to a heritage of wisdom that seems to have abandoned all those who walk through paths and streets, under the moonlight, in the daylight, accompanied by barking dogs. 


Like Carlo Levi and Ernesto De Martino, «Il paese dei Coppoloni» is a work in which reality can be seen only behind the deforming veil of a majestic, epic sense of human experience, of a past time that rises again to populate our dull contemporary chaos of mysteries and splendor. 

Time never got married, that is why it does whatever it wants

(This is the last sentence. It arrived from far, and it ended up in the mouth of Micalina, who knows it by heart, thanks to her wiseness in preparing weddings).


Time... But which time? The time of the sacred? The unholy one, the mundane one? The still time of the myth, or the one that devours everything? 

The kinds of time that crossed and layered during the writing process of this «Paese dei Coppoloni» are many. 

The cover shows a painting by Rocco Briuolo: you can see a big clock, that the Eco peasants call "la Relogia". La Relogia is stuck at 7:40. The time when a whole world ended... The world of rural culture that died on 23rd November 1980, during the earthquake. 

It means a lot to me that this clock stopped at that specific hour. It's that the time during which I wandered and tried to bring the lies of reality to the truth of imagination. Finding a shelter under those pointers has been a dream, I made it last a long time... Seventeen years. I hope it can give me protection again, even now that it's over. 


The "canitrani", Eco peasants, do not use vowels at the end of words, perhaps because they do not love endings. Vituccio "il Conserviere" reuses and collects everything in an eternal comeback, perhaps because he does not like endings too.


Today I am marking an end. To let a new life start it is necessary that another one dies: that's why the bride brings the mourning of the girl, the boy brings the mourning of the child and the elder brings the mourning of the man.


But I feel fine. I saved everything that needed to be saved. A certain wind, a certain moon, a certain licantropy. An air that comes from 1998, when I started writing it, when I started wandering in the contrades of Occhino, so as to share imagination with those I love. And I kept on doing that. 


It is possible to get lost in disattention, but the bone is there: a paper bone, of course a fleeting one. 
Life floated through these pages, in the shape of a dream, the one that does not dirt with its package. It warmed iron, it made the night pass, like Compavincenzo's wine, like Armando Testadiuccello's words... Like the great epic of those who came before us and that now lives in the mouths of other people, like spectrums and Cupa creatures, that show up to a person at a time so you cannot believe them.


23rd February 2015

Vinicio Capossela

Il paese dei Coppoloni's booktrailer
Live presentations

"Il paese dei Coppoloni" has been presented all through Italy - and not only - with standard dialogues between authors and with readings. Those were the dates: 

9th April / Milan / Libreria Feltrinelli

10th April / Genoa / Libreria Feltrinelli

13th April / Florence / Libreria Feltrinelli

14th April / Rome / Libreria Feltrinelli

15th April / Bologna / Libreria Feltrinelli

16th April / Reggio Emilia / Libreria All'Arco

20th April / Venice / Pescheria Rialto

21st April / Venice / Cultural Flow Zone

23rd April / Rende (CS) / Teatro Auditorium Unical


16th May / Turin / Salone del Libro

20th May / Bari / Libreria Feltrinelli

22nd May / Cesena / Chiostro di San Francesco


3rd June / San Salvatore Telesino (BN)

4th June / Cagliari / Piazza Palazzo

5th June / Massa / Castello Malaspina

7th June / Urbana (PD) / Ex Monastero di San Salvaro

11th June / Modena / Giardini Ducali

13th June / Naples / Via Pisanelli

18th June / Macerata / Teatro Lauro Rossi

22nd June / Salerno / Largo Barbuti

27th June / San Daniele del Friuli (UD) / Piazza della Letteratura


3rd July / Viterbo / Piazza San Lorenzo

20th July / Cotignola (RA) /


23rd August / San Donato Val di Comino (FR) / 


4th September / Matera / Piazza San Giovanni


9th November / London (England) / Istituto italiano di Cultura

12th November / Berlin (Germany) / Istituto italiano di Cultura

16th November / Catania / Università degli Studi di Catania - Monastero dei Benedettini

In November 2021 Feltrinelli released a new edition of "Il paese dei Coppoloni", with a new cover made by Francesca Leoncini. The photo shows Calitri and its territory. 

Vinicio Capossela - Nel Paese dei Coppoloni

During 19th and 20th January 2016, the film «Vinicio Capossela - Nel paese dei Coppoloni» was screened. This film represents a bridge between the pages of «Il paese dei Coppoloni» and the music of «Canzoni della Cupa», from which the film's soundtrack comes from. It was produced by laeffe, PMG and La Cùpa and it has been distributed by Nexo Digital. On 9th June 2016 the dvd version has been released. 

«Vinicio Capossela - Nel paese dei Coppoloni» is a cinematograhic, geographic, musical and fantasy journey into the heritage of culture, stories and songs that is told, sung and lived by the author himself. It was already the inspiration behind the book «Il paese dei Coppoloni» and the record «Canzoni della Cupa». A world that History has almost buried, but that makes us hear the echo and the sound if we are prepared to listen to it and to dream. 

The film takes place in High Irpinia, where you can find abandoned houses, old railways, woods, wild animals and unspoiled landscapes. This is where Capossela's literary and musical ispiration became true, giving us the portrait of an almost lost and forgotten Italy, another side of a country that still wants to tell its history and its energy: the voices, the faces, the characters, the popular traditions, the weddings, the music that spins through the Cupa's paths, the conversation in the main square, the chats at the barber shop, the walks on donkeys paths, the resistent and wild nature. 

An imaginary place that becomes true, a physical space that turns into pure imagination. A unique occasion to follow the «wandering musician» Vinicio Capossela in this journey led by music and storytelling. 

Nel paese dei Coppoloni's trailer
Qu'Art de Siècle

In 2015, Vinicio Capossela marked twentyfive years of career. To celebrate this result, he played two live tours, one in European cities and one in Italy. Both tours have been provided by Ponderosa. 


The European tour started on 5th October 2015 from the wonderful XIXth century theatre Des Bouffes du Nord in Paris: the singer hosted different musicians in each concert, held in some of the most important theaters and clubs in Europe. 


These were the tour dates, realised by Ponderosa:


5th October / Paris (France) / Les Bouffes du Nord / with Mario Brunello and Pascal Comelade

16th October / Bern (Switzerland) / Bee-Flat / with Banda della Posta

18th October / Bruxelles (Belgium) / Ancienne Belgique / with Banda della Posta

25th October / Girona (Spain) / Auditori de Girona / with Cabosanroque

27th October / Madrid (Spain) / Teatro Calderon / with Victor Herrero


10th November / London (England) / Clapham Grand / with Marc Ribot

11th November / Berlin (Germany) / Astra Kulturhaus 

29th November / Thessaloniki (Greece) / Mavri Tripa



During the tour, Capossela also held presentations of his books, both «Il paese dei Coppoloni» (in Bruxelles and Berlin) and «Tefteri» (in Madrid). 

A polka spin through the continent

During these concerts, Vinicio Capossela went through his twentyfive years of career, proposing a different show for every night. 

Many characters, objects, sounds and scenarios can be found in Capossela's albums: youth friendships, lost lovers, hurting goodbyes, lost purity, imagination colics. Words from elsewhere, tangos, morna, bolero. And then raging, dark seas, Ulysses, Job, wisps lit on the sailing, like candles. Taverns, mangas, rebetes, mariachis, serenades, American silences, freak shows, giants, magicians, inventors, running cars, body guards, bad Americas, and then again lost friends, unborn children, abandoned towns, stations without trains, rural ballads, the minuscule hidden in big things. 


5th October 2015, Paris

The first date of the Qu'Art de Siècle tour was in Paris, at the famous XIXth century theatre Les Bouffes du Nord. Besides of his musicians, Vinicio Capossela was accompanied by the cello player Mario Brunello and by the French musician Pascal Comelade, who has already been working with Capossela during the recordings of Canzoni a manovella, in 2000. 

The show

- 00:00:00

This is the recording of the debut show in Paris on 5th October 2015. With Vinicio Capossela, Mario Brunello e Pascal Comelade. 



Fuggite amanti amor

Ogni van chiuso



I pianoforti di Lubecca


Non è l'amore che va via

Le case

Corvo torvo

L'affondamento del Cinastic

Il paradiso dei calzini

Con una rosa



Contratto per Karelias


Lord Jim

Lanterne Rosse

Le pleiadi

S.S. dei Naufragati

Ovunque Proteggi

Le sirene

Nella pioggia

All'una e trentacinque circa

16th October, Bern; 18th October, Bruxelles

During these two shows, which were held in Switzerland and Belgium, Vinicio Capossela performed with Banda della Posta, after having produced their album in 2013 and touring during 2013 and 2014. 

The show

- 00:00:00

Audio recording of the show held in Bern with Banda della Posta. 



25th October, Girona; 27th October, Madrid

During the two Spanish concerts, Vinicio Capossela performs with two different hosts: during the first one with Caposanroque, during the second one with the musician Victor Herrero. Below, a gallery with photos of the two events and an audio recording. 

The concert: Vinicio Capossela and Cabosanroque

- 00:00:00

Audio recording of the concert played on 25th October 2015 in Girona with Vinicio Capossela and Cabosanroque. 



Polka di Varsavia

Dalla parte di Spessotto


Suona Rosamunda

Con una rosa

Il paradiso dei calzini

Polpo d'amor

Canzone a manovella



La balena Goliath

Le pleiadi

Signora Luna

La lancia del Pelide

Non trattare

Il ballo di San Vito

L'uomo vivo (Inno al Gioia)

Modì (in Catalan)

Le semplici cose

10th November, London

The guest of the one and only English concert is the American guitar player Marc Ribot, who is featured in a lot of Capossela's records. 

The concert. Vinicio Capossela and Marc Ribot

- 00:00:00

Audio recording of the concert played on 10th November 2015 in London, with Vinicio Capossela, his band and Marc Ribot. 



Accolita dei rancorosi

L'oceano oilalà

Billy Budd

Lord Jim


Contratto con Karelias

Con una rosa

Corvo torvo

Tanco del Murazzo

La notte se n'è andata

Il paradiso dei calzini

Che coss'è l'amor


Ultimo amore

Signora Luna

Non trattare

Brucia Troia

Ovunque proteggi

Nella pioggia

11th November, Berlin

For the only German concert of «Qu'Art de Siècle» tour, there were no guests, but Capossela made an interview at the German radio Funkhaus Europa during the program «La dolce vita», dedicated to Italian music. During this episode, he goes back to his first twenty five years of career. 

Funkhaus Europa. La dolce vita, special Guest: Vinicio Capossela

- 00:00:00

Recording of the German radio broadcasting joined by Vinicio Capossela as a guest to talk about his career. 

29th November, Thessaloniki

The Greek stop of «Qu'Art de Siècle» was hosted at Mavri Tripa in Thessaloniki. During this show Capossela performed with the Greek Manolis Pappos and Dimitris Mystakidis. Together they played songs from the rebetiko repertoire. 

Qu'Art de Siècle - Italian tour

After the extraordinary success of the European tour, the Ponderosa booking agency organised an Italian tour during which Capossela performed unique and unrepeatable concerts, with specifically chosen tracklists according to the venue, the guests and the memory. Jacopo Leone created a unique billboard for each show. 

Those were the dates: 


15th November / Catania / Teatro Bellini / Solitudini

12th December / Milan / Teatro dal Verme / Coup de Canon!!

20th December / Venice / Teatro La Fenice / Naufragi

21st December / Rome / Opera Theatre / Fantasmagorie


15th November, Catania

The first concert of the Italian «Qu'Art de Siècle» tour was at Catania's Bellini Theater. Here, Capossela performed an intimate set, just with his piano.


He stated: «It will be my one and only solo concert. Alone, at the piano. I am not a multi-instrumentalist, but I spend quite a lot of time choosing the best and right musicians for my concerts and for the recordings. I have a certain experience on collaborations, but dealing with a theater on my own is something new. I am afraid it will be a strong, almost red light experience. It will be like taking off one's clothes, like confessing a little too much. But Jacopo Leone convinced me to do this, with his wonderful Efestiade Festival that, for a few years has brought great artists in Catania in unusual and almost clandestine places, who play extraordinary solo concerts.

Songs are born at the piano and then a whole building rises on them. Strings, theremin, rhythm, marching band... In this occasion, it will be like an x-ray of the songs. So far, I enjoy studying my songs at the piano, because they are the only ones I can play, I can claim I am the best piano player for my songs. But when I will be on stage at the theater, I will look around me and no other musician will be there... Well, it will be a weird moment. »


Furthermore: «Performing just on the piano, the repertoire will be inspired by the songs which have the most affinity with that instrument. But I cannot ignore the place I am in, so I will play songs that deal with the sea, with fish, with myth and with the vulcanowith the memory of the nights we spent during our youth at Nievski, back at the time when going to Catania was like going in the Italian Seattle. And then, I will get emotional while playing a "stripped" version of «La marcia del Camposanto» in the city where it was written». 


(from «La Sicilia», 8th November 2015). 

12th December, Milan

On 12th December, at Milan's Teatro Dal Verme, Vinicio Capossela performed the show «Coup de canon!!», in which the unabridged album «Canzoni a manovella» was played with the musicians that recorded it fifteen years ago: Achille Succi, Giancarlo Bianchetti, Edoardo De Angelis, Enrico Lazzarini, Mirko Mariani, Mauro Ottolini e Vincenzo Vasi. 

This theatre was chosen because right there, on 21st April 1914, the first concert of the "Intonarumori Orchestra" was held. 

20th December, Venice

The concert held at Teatro La Fenice in Venice was called «Naufragi», and its topic was the sea. Capossela performed along with the cello player Mario Brunello. 

21st December, Rome

The last concert of «Qu'Art de Siècle» tour was held at Teatro dell'Opera in Rome. During this concert, Capossela has been accompanied by Maderna Orchestra, led by Stefano Nanni, who also wrote the music sheets. The theme of this show was «Phantasmagorias», a theme that perfectly suits a performance with an orchestra.