Exercises for Voice and Cello

on Divine Comedy by Dante

voice Chiara Guidi
cello Francesco Guerri

sound Andrea Scardovi

organization Elena de Pascale
in dialogue with Simona Barducci, Cristina Ventrucci
production Societas

photo Nicolò Cecchella

Dante’s words are full of sound even before they are understood. They do not need the sound of a voice, nor, even less, a cello.

Any sound that accompanies them is destined to fail, because to verses by Dante no score can be written.

And yet, between the voice and Dante, a space is always created.

Here, then, is where we decided to practice, to put the cello and the human voice to the test.

To transform them.

One after the other, we will make our way through all of the cantos, and taking one step at a time

they will be our school.

We will need time.


Upon entering Purgatory, our research changed with respect to our work on Inferno.

In the first cantica, the solo voice, in its torment, gives body to the souls of the damned. Here, instead, while ruminating on the words of the second cantica, we felt the need for a poetic chorus. With its presence, it would act as a backdrop against which other voices would emerge, those inclined towards intimacy and confession.

In May 2018, we staged the 5th canto of Dante’s Purgatorio in the Sant’Anna prison in Modena, with a poetic “chorus” made up of a few inmates. In January 2019, in Cesena, we looked for this chorus in a school.


Each show is made up of five Cantos.


Canto I, Proem

Canto II, Dante’s doubts

Canto III, Ante-Inferno

Canto V, Circle II: Paolo and Francesca

Canto VI, Circle III: Ciacco

Canto VII, Circle IV and V: Plutus

Canto XII, Circle VII: Flegetonte

Canto XIII, Circle VII: Pier della Vigna

Canto XXVI, Circle VIII: Ulysses

Canto XXXIII, Circle IX: Ugolino

Canto XXXIV, Circle IX: Lucifer


Canto I, Proem

Canto V, Ante-Purgatory: second ledge

Canto XV, second and third terrace: the envious and the wrathful


Under preparation


Canto XVII, Circle VII: Gerione

Canto XVIII, Circle VIII: Malebolge

Canto XIX, Circle VIII: Malebolge


Canto II, Ante-Purgatory: Casella


Canto I, Proem


For an audience of teens and adults.

Duration 75 minutes.

Video excerpt