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Tracing Venice

Compagnia Marionettistica Carlo Colla & Figli


The story of the Compagnia Marionettistica Carlo Colla & Figli (the Carlo Colla & Sons Marionette Company) started towards the end of the 18th century, making it one of the oldest puppetry companies in the world. The story of this Milanese puppetry company started in the palace of a wealthy merchant, Giovanbattista Colla, who organised marionette shows for his guests and family. The company developed from here, growing in notoriety and admired by many, including Goethe and Goldoni. Since its creation, the company has performed at the most prominent theatres, opera houses and festivals around the world. The marionettes, carefully created by the master artisans of the company, boast over 400 performances in their repertoire. They have participated in a variety of productions, including operas and fairy tales, in which over 100 of them may appear on stage to perform.


L'Associazione Grupporian (the Grupporiani Association) was founded in 1984 under the leadership of the then artistic director, Eugenio Monti Colla. The Association's aim was to create a space where young marionettists could explore all aspects of animated theatre. The Association has developed and perfected a series of artisan workshops in order to provide help with the maintenance and building of marionettes for the Compagnia Marionettistica Carlo Colla & Figli. A team of master artisans, from woodcarvers to tailors, takes constant care of the performers, creating and restoring even the smallest details.

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