'Zefirino' screening set
Posted February 14, 2008; 11:21 a.m.
"Zefirino: The Voice of a Castrato," an award-winning documentary about a senior thesis performance by 2004 Princeton graduate Anthony Roth Costanzo, will be screened at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, in 10 East Pyne.
The film demonstrates how Costanzo assembled a remarkable production to portray the lives of the castrati, male singers in 18th-century Italy who were castrated before puberty to maintain their soprano singing voices. Costanzo conceived of, co-wrote, produced and starred in the production, titled "The Double Life of Zefirino," as his senior thesis project.
The performance, which included Costanzo singing six 18th-century arias, had costumes designed by acclaimed film director James Ivory, sets created in Milan and two professional dancers who helped convey the story of the castrati.
The film won a 2007 director's choice award at the international Black Maria Film and Video Festival. Filmmaker Gerardo Puglia directed and photographed the 23-minute film, which took two years to make. It was produced by Gaetana Marrone-Puglia, a Princeton professor of French and Italian who taught Costanzo. Wendy Heller, associate professor of music, was his thesis adviser.
The screening is sponsored by the Department of Music and the Department of French and Italian.