Distinguished people of Rocca San Casciano

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CARLO ALBERTO CAPPELLI

Carlo Alberto Cappelli was born in 1907 in Rocca San Casciano (Forlì), where the family Publishing House, then moved to Bologna, continues to maintain the typography. Throughout his life he will be involved in the publishing industry and theatre. In 1931 Carlo Alberto Cappelli was appointed President of Filodramatica di Bologna where in 1938 he inaugurated the “Luglio musicale” in Piazza del Baraccano, an open-air theatre with seven thousand seats, while in the 1940s he was the Commissioner of the Municipal Theatre. He discovers many young talents: one name among all, Giuseppe Di Stefano.

In 1950 he studied and developed the First Malatesta Festival in Rimini. In the 1950s he began to devote himself to prose theatre: he created a festival that Bologna hosted from 1951 to 1965; he contributed to the birth of the Shakespearean Festival in Verona in 1954; in 1955 with Romolo Valli, Giorgio De Lullo, Anna Maria Guarnieri and Rossella Falk he created the Compagnia dei Giovani. He will be the company’s businessman for twentyyears, leading to success personalities such as Gino Cervi, Paolo Stoppa, Vittorio Gassman, Raf Vallone, Giorgio Albertazzi, Anna Proclemer, Luchino Visconti, Gian Maria Volonté, Carla Gravina.

In 1962 he debuted the rookie Claudio Abbado. In 1971 he was Commissioner of the Arena di Verona and at the same time organized the winter activity with the Philharmonic Theatre. With Cappelli, the Arena lives its golden age, hosting Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, José Carreras, Katia Ricciarelli, Carla Fracci, Rudolf Nureyev. Carlo Alberto Cappelli was, with Remigio Paone, the most important private organizer of prose shows that Italy has ever had: he also managed six primary companies and was an undisputed and unforgettable protagonist in the world of opera. For his leading role in the cultural and theatrical world and for his commitment to promoting culture in his city, Bologna in 1982 awarded him the “Golden Neptune”.

Carlo Alberto, “Lallo” for his friends, died on 3 August 1982: he remains in the memory of those who knew him as a gentleman who considered the theatre the kingdom of adventure and the imponderable, believing in friendship as a trump card for a businessman. The Carlo Alberto Cappelli Association – President Adolfo Frattagli and Honorary President Vittorio Rossi –, founded in 1982 in Rocca San Casciano, has collaborated in initiatives in the municipal area. It also maintains contacts with artists, businessmen, Opera Bodies, Associations and ensures the participation of members and friends in theatrical events in Italy and abroad.

In 1987 he established the homonymous international recognition, conferred annually to great artists of the theatrical and musical world, first in Rocca San Casciano, then in Rome in the Capitol and at the Opera House, in Paris in the City Hall, at the Municipal Theatre of Bologna, at the Metropolitan Theatre in New York and at the Barbican Theatre in London.

The International Cappelli Award is dedicated to him.

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