The heart and the mind
The joint company Festi Group has more than thirty years experience in creating spectacular productions. With the StudioFesti and Mymoon brands, it first invented and then transformed the art of public celebration and theatrical events in the open-air. By drawing inspiration from the genius of the Renaissance and Baroque wonder Festi Group stages dazzling one-off events, with an original and effective take on communication and celebration.
Valerio Festi: his passion for open-air theatre was fostered in the confined space of libraries reading accounts of elaborate renaissance festivities and ingenious baroque theatricals. In 1977 he graduated from Bologna University having completed a thesis on festivities in the city. Festive space became the frame for his experiments and performance an essential part of his life. He founded Studio Festi, and his collaboration with Monica Maimone began: a life-time bond that endures to this day. He draws on the traditions of the Renaissance and the Baroque to unravel and celebrate the secret spirit of the city. The ephemeral, yet historically and culturally rich, splendour of these events attains an unprecedented communicative power. A wide range of celebrations are shown for what they really are: catalysts of the collective imagination, overwhelming manifestations of the democracy of beauty, giving it original, captivating and memorable form. There is every day time and then there is time for celebration. This is when we seek to shape the world as we would like it and when Valerio Festi reveals urban space as it could be.
Monica Maimone’s formative experience in the theatre was Erwin Piscator’s Volksbühne, in a theatre that teaches and prepares for action and change. In the late sixties she formed the “Nuova Scena” with Dario Fo and Franca Rame. Maimone then worked at the Salone Pier Lombardo in Milan where she became the director in 1977, working with Franco Parenti and Andrèe Ruth Shammah. In 1988 she directed Et tenebrae eum non comprenderunt and Silenzio e parola , and Acqua e fuoco in 1990. Together with Valerio Festi she set up Studio Festi, a project designed to bring spectacular productions and installations to the whole world. Antigone delle città, was a choral performance and political theatre that drew attention to the Bologna massacre on 2 August 1980. In Palermo she directed the celebrations for the Feast of Santa Rosalia, restoring the original meaning of the event through the expressive power of invention. Among her original works is the Trilogia sugli Angeli. In 2006 she directed the From the Renaissance to the Baroque section of the opening ceremony of the 20th Winter Olympics in Turin, the opening ceremony of the 13th FINA World Championships in Rome and the opening celebrations for the 49th Nordic World Ski Championship in Trento. Monica Maimone is President of the Fondazione Ipazia-Arte for the environment which produced Deluge. As the founder and artistic director of Mymoon, she has never surrendered her faith in the Utopia of a living and popular theatre.
Staff & Crew
She has worked as an editor for a number of leading publishers and has always been a active unionist. These two activities have come together in his talent for organizing events, story-telling and setting up performances in the midst of a crowd. She brings joy and colour to the streets and squares of the city. Facades and roofs of the world’s most beautiful buildings appear transformed before a sea of different faces in a never ending flow of festivities.
Monica Maimone discovered her in 1987, when she was little more than twenty, behind the bookstall in the foyer at the Salone Pierlombardo. She was studying acting at the Paolo Grassi school. She was expelled. Monica welcomed her, encouraged her, and taught her a new skill, and didn’t try to hold her back when she wanted to go. She became a director, with a particular concern for social problems. Dreamer she train to write her memories. In 2016 she returned home: Monica and Valerio welcomed her with open arms.
She is a cosmopolitan, but Neapolitan, and therefore knows how to transform everything into dreams. The choice of Studio Festi for her training, after studying Tourism and doing a Master in the design and planning of cultural events, was as instinctive as it was a must. She then travelled: London, Lisbon, Porto, San Paolo, and finally Milan. Theatres, foundations, cultural associations. But melancholy set in, she missed the enchantment. She returned to Monica and she has stayed.
From Palermo, a father of three, a theatrical entrepreneur: three qualities that combine well. Thirty years ago he began as a cinema production assistant and has moved on to stage design major squares in Italy and Europe. He has left Sicily as often as he has returned there. He has learnt how to make a dancer fly while suspended from a balloon, how to create fireworks and how to plant a wood in a piazza. But his children say he still doesn’t know how to cook.
Well-launched on a career as an accountant , her neighbours were looking for a manager and she, tired of working day and night, agreed to help them, imagining nothing could be worse than working as an accountant: instead…
Born in Rimini, land of the sea and Fellini breezes, she is a cloud and colour chaser, intrigued by cinema and stories. Her study of art history led her to a career she enjoyed. She has developed alongside those who transform dreams into spectacle and search for beauty in open spaces everywhere, those who create enchanting visions never seen before. She will continue to chase clouds as long as they continue to change shape. It is her dream, her vocation, her destiny.
After studying at classical high school he graduated from the Drama Centre in London, and at Accademia d’Arte Drammatica del Regno Unito (forse RADA Royal Academy Dramatic Art?). After many years as a professional actor he succeeded in telling wonderful stories to the business community, disguised as a Sales and Marketing Manager. He specialised in General, Innovation and Luxury Management at the Politecnico in Milan. He is happy now that his storytelling is turned to magnificent effect in the inventive world of the theatre in the clouds.
Valerio Festi met him on a Ferragosto night in Moscow in a restaurant of Siberian cuisine, which place and best time to meet a Sicilian. Giacomo is an attorney who has been living in Moscow for ten years and has come to the traces of Master and Margherita. After finding his “Margherita” (his wife Irina) and knowing his “Master” (Valerio Festi) it can be said that her research has ended. He is the man who represents FestiGroup in Russia and throughout the Soviet posture.