CONTROLUCE Shadow Theatre was born in 1994 in Turin after the encounter of the Spanish painter Jenaro Meléndrez Chas with musicians Cora De Maria and Alberto Jona, thanks to their shared passion for theatre. The initial idea, to combine music, abstract painting and techniques of oriental shadow theatre in a common artistic project, soon developed in two directions, one towards Puppetry -dedicated to an adult audience- and one towards Musical Theatre.
In the music setting, with some surprises and adventures, CONTROLUCE has staged opera and contemporary music using shadow theatre, reaching festivals, exhibitions, theatrical and musical events in Italy (including the season of Unione Musicale, MITO Settembre Musica, Teatro Piccolo Regio in Turin, Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Lugo Opera Festival in Lugo di Romagna, Teatro Regio in Parma, Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova, Pordenone Silent Film Festival, Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Festival of the Itria Valley in Martina Franca, Mittelfest Cividale, Teatro Stabile di Torino, Teatro Stabile di Genova etc.), Europe (Germany, Austria, Spain, France, Holland, Great Britain, Ireland, Portugal, Poland, Bosnia-Herzegovina), Switzerland, Turkey, Tunis, USA, Brazil, Singapore and Tokyo.
Controluce has collaborated with writers, musicians, composers, artists, music and cultural organizations such as Jordi Savall, Kate Bush, Mario Brunello, Fabio Biondi, Europa Galante, Quartet Terpsycordes, Arturo Tamayo, Gabriel Garrido, Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, Teatro Regio di Torino, Kenneth Weiss, José Maria Sanchez Verdù, Bruno Moretti, Andrea Liberovici, Adriano Guarnieri, Nicola Campogrande, Nuria Núñez Hierro, Davide Livermore, Alessandro Baricco, Vinicio Capossela, Elio, Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Compagnia Shizuku of Butoh dance (Tokyo) and more.
Since 1994 Controluce organizes and directs INCANTI International Figure Theatre Festival in Turin.
2023:Revival of THE 20 DAYS OF TURIN at the Teatro Baretti in Turin. Interventions of shadow theatre at the opera LES CONTES D'HOFFMANN, directed by Davide Livermore, at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Interventions of teatro d'ombre at the opera IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA, directed by Alberto Jona. Revival of DIDO and AENEAS with the Ghedini Conservatory of Cuneo and Accademia Maghini.
2022:THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK Teatro Regio, Turin. Revival of THE TWENTY DAYS OF TURIN at the Cetona Festival in honor of Guido Ceronetti. Revival of BLUEBEARD'S CASTLE and debut of the show KRIEGSKABARETT, a tribute to Karl Valentin, at the Festival Incanti. Participation with DIDO and AENEAS in the International Shadow Theatre Festival of Schwaebisch Gmuend. CHRISTMAS IN CONTROLUCE at the Castle of Moncalieri. Interventions of shadow theater in the film THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MARY, directed by Paolo Zucca
2021: Project CHI HA PAURA DEL MELODRAMMA (WHO IS AFRAID OF MELODRAMMA) for Fondazione Teatro Coccia di Novava with the revival of the opera GULLIVER by Bruno Moretti. Resumption of THE SONG OF THE TREE in Turin, Rome and Shadow Theatre Festival of Staggia Senese. Resumption of THE 20 DAYS at the MUFANT Museum of the Fantastic and Science Fiction in Turin and at the Animar Festival in Cagliari. Workshop and show project WE CAME OUT TO SEE THE STARS with the students of the Italian State School of Madrid and debut of THE CASTLE OF BLUEBEARD, on the occasion of the performance of Bartok's opera at the Teatro Coccia in Novara. CHRISTMAS IN CONTROLUCE at the Castle of Moncalieri.
2020: Participation with a shadows scene at the opening of Teatro alla Scala of Milano, 2020-21 season. Staging, direction and shadows theatre's intervention in the opera DONNA DI VELENI, music by Marco Podda, Libretto by Emilio Jona, direction Alberto Jona, coproduction between Fondazione Teatro Coccia of Novara and Controluce Teatro d'ombre. Pandemic causes cancellation of programmed performances like THE SONG OF THE TREE at Rome and Turin, nevertheless the company has created the performance STUDIO FOR THE 20 DAYS and has collaborated to the show WATERPEACE with Moni Ovadia, the group Ederlezi under direction of Dario La Ferla. Waterpeace has inaugurated the Festival INCANTI 2020.
2019. CONTROLUCE has signed the shadows in the opera OMBRES DU MINOTAURE by Michéle Reverdy in Vevey and Neuchatel (CH), and the comedy BIRDS by Aristophanes staged at the Teatro Menotti in Milan, directed by Emilio Russo and winner of Enriquez prize 2019 for both direction and show. Debut of the new performance I CANTI DELL'ALBERO on music by Maurice Ravel, produced by MITO Settembre Musica in Turin and Milan .
2018 October, Internationales Schattentheater Festival Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany, participation with BUTTERFLY BLUES and presentation of Schoenberg PIERROT LUNAIRE's new version, with the Pierrot Ensemble conducted by Alessandro Maria Carnelli (the show debutted at Arona's festival Primavera in Musica in March) October, inauguration of festival Incanti Rassegna Internazionale di Teatro di Figura of Turin with Purcell's DIDO&AENEAS, “live” in collaboration with the Baroque singing course of Conservatory G.F.Ghedini of Cuneo. June, debut of the opera for children THE DREAM OF Mr. RODARI opera for children by Nuria Nuñez Hierro, at the Accademia di Spagna in Rome, with Jordi Domènech, Esteban Algora and Proyecto Ocnos. February, debut of LES VILLES INVISIBLES in Switzerland, with Antonio Albanese, Lisa Tatin and Francesco Biamonte.
2017 October, premiere in Turin of DRACULA RockShadowOpera, (project, staging and direction, -production Fondazione Teatro Ragazzi-), in collaboration with Perturbazione rock group of Turin, repeated in November at Milan Music Week. February, in Lugano, staging and direction of THE GARDEN OF LIFE opera by José Maria Sanchez Verdù, conductor Arturo Tamayo, repeated in April for the inauguration of the 56th Semana de Musica Religiosa de Cuenca in Spain.
2016: December, debut in Milan of BUTTERFLY BLUES at "Madama Butterfly in Città" project organized by the Municipality of Milan for the Scala 2016/17 season opening with Puccini's Madama Butterfly. November, Collaboration with the Unione Musicale of Turin with DES KNABEN WUNDERHORN. January, new collaboration with the ORT in Florence with GULLIVER (chamber opera by Bruno Moretti)
2015: From 2015 season, a regular collaboration in education-production projects with the Conservatory of italian Switzerland in Lugano (DID-ONE Purcell/Bussotti, POPP-KREIS Monteverdi/Stockhausen) and the Conservatory of Milan (KNOWS THOU THE LAND WHERE THE LEMON TREES BLOOM? Italian Canzoniere of Hugo Wolf, DES KNABEN WUNDERHORN Mahler). Staging and direction of Bellini's LA STRANIERA for the Landestheater Niederbayern, Germany.
2014: Controluce's debut in London (February) with HAIKU (composition by Nicola Campogrande) and Tokyo (June) with GULLIVER and also collaboration to the Kate Bush return show "Before the Dawn" at the Hammersmith Apollo in London (hailed as one of the biggest events of pop music in last decades). October, presentation in Yverdon, Switzerland, of the French new version of the GULLIVER with the quintet Les Boulouris 5, Francesco Biamonte and Leana Durney. November, Basel, DIDO&AENEAS "live" with the group Novantik Project Basel. December, debut in Turin of Adriano Guarnieri's scenic cantata THE MOURNFUL SCREECH OF STEEL (dedicated to the Thyssen Krupp steel plant tragedy happened in Turin in 2007).
2013: November, debut in opera staging and direction with Bellini's lL PIRATA for the Landestheater Niederbayern in Germany...