25 maggio 2023, ore 16.00 (seminario) - 24/25/26 maggio 2023 ore 20.30 (spettacolo)
Via Porta di Massa, 1 - Napoli

The dream of reason. Thomas Campanella’s City of the Sun. A performance and seminar


Performers in the show:
Tony Laudadio, Federico Contella, Martina Nappi

Performers in the show:
Manuela Sanna (director of Ispf-Cnr)
Manuel Bertolini (researcher at Ispf-Cnr)
Rosario Diana (senior researcher at Ispf-Cnr)

The show – conceived, written and directed by Rosario Diana – is part of the centenary celebrations of the founding of the National Research Council and is also meant to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first edition of City of the Sun.
This short work by Tommaso Campanella – first composed in italian, then translated into Latin by the author himself and finally published in this language in 1623 in Frankfurt – is commonly traced to the genre of utopia. Which is certainly not wrong. But it must also be remembered that it was written in 1602, when its author was imprisoned in Naples, in the Castel Nuovo, for having spearheaded an anti-Spanish revolt in 1599 in his homeland of Calabria. In the few pages of which the writing is composed, an imaginary city is conceived, on an island in the Eastern Seas, inhabited by a happy community of men and women who have banished all forms of private property. Having failed in his attempt to establish a republic – of which he himself would be king and priest – Campanella evidently decided to put his vanished project on paper. This circumstance also makes the City of the Sun the manifesto of a clearly theocratic political program, strongly felt by the philosopher, who never lost hope of being able to realize it. And this is also confirmed if one reads it in the light of another important work by the friar from Stilo a few years later, The Monarchy of the Messiah (1606).
In the performance this aspect is emphasized, but the dangers of utopia are also shown, relating the campanellian dream – in some ways rather aberrant – to the sensibility of our time, of which the two dancers (Federico Contella and Martina Nappi) who interact with the protagonist (Tony Laudadio) are an expression.
Connected to the performance is a seminar on the City of the Sun, to be held on Thursday, May 25, at 4 p.m., at the Ispf-Cnr Library Room (Via Porta di Massa, 1, staircase A, third floor). Speakers will include Manuela Sanna (director of Ispf-Cnr), Manuel Bertolini (researcher in philosophy at Ispf-Cnr), Rosario Diana (senior researcher in philosophy at Ispf-Cnr). The study meeting can be attended in person or remotely (link is on the poster).

The two interconnected events are funded by:
Scabec (Società Campana Beni Culturali), Regione Campania, Ministero della Cultura, Associazione culturale “Quidra”, Associazione culturale “Il Canto di Virgilio”, Accademia di Belle Arti di Napoli, Ispf-Cnr

Modalities of participation:
Performance – in presence, at the Centro Stabile di Musica e Cultura Domus Ars, via Santa Chiara, 10 – Napoli.
Seminar – hybrid; in-presence, in Naples, at the Ispf Library room (via Porta di Massa, 1, staircase A, third floor); remotely, link:


For information:
Rosario Diana, email: rosario.diana@ispf.cnr.it | rosariodiana61@gmail.com

locandina dello spettacolo
locandina del seminario
Video (estratto dallo spettacolo)