1967-1977. The new company of popular song and the decade of Roberto De Simone

The first ten years of activity of the Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare are decisive for the construction of the identity of this which is now an institution of the Italian culture of the twentieth century, and beyond. The decade that goes from the foundation – 1967 – to the debut of Gatta Cinderella at the Festival dei Due Mondi of Spoleto -1976 – is marked by the presence and the artistic project of Roberto De Simone . And it is precisely at this stage of the group that the study of Anita Pesce is concentrated, aimed at highlighting how and how much De Simone’s choices have been innovative, if not even revolutionary. In the rediscovery of folk music that took place in Italy in the second half of the Sixties, Roberto De Simone, instead of resting on the original, chose another way, moving towards the stylistic reworking of the materials, updated thanks to the interpreters (voices / characters) that they composed the musical group and that with him they experimented and re-proposed the Campania repertoires. In the incessant comparison between literature and orality, De Simone impressed a decisive and modern impulse to the evolution of the Neapolitan musical culture, creating a close relationship between the NCCP and the Neapolitan avant-garde theater; in this sense, the influence that the young De Simone drew from the meeting with Dario Fo and then with Julian Beck of the Living Theater was decisive. Between music and theater, between history and politics, between low culture and high culture, this book is a suggestive and timely investigation into the formation of Roberto De Simone and the events that will merge to outline the characteristics of one of the most interesting, original and imitated phenomena Italian music of the second half of the twentieth century.

Anita Pesce (Naples, 1961)
Graduated in piano and graduated in Ethnomusicology, she combines classical music competences with those concerning popular music. Musicologist and historian of the album, specialized on Neapolitan interpreters and repertoires of the early twentieth century, he collaborated with Roberto De Simone for the volume La canzone napolitana (Einaudi, 2017).