Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare
Founded in 1967 by singer-songwriter Eugenio Bennato and Carlo d’Angiò, the Nuova Compagnia di Canto Popolare (New Company of Popular Song) brought together a number of talented musicians (Giovanni Mauriello, Patrizio Trampetti, Peppe Barra, Fausta Vetere and Nunzio Areni and others) in a project aimed at reanimating the long and rich tradition of Neapolitan folk song. Joined in 1972 by ethnomusicologist and theatre director Roberto De Simone, the group achieved wide recognition for their genuine recreation of forgotten forms of Neapolitan song such as the villanelle and the moresche of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Their grand musical spectacle, La gatta Cenerentola (Cindarella, the Cat), directed by De Simone and performed at the Spoleto Festival in 1976, was hailed as a milestone by both audiences and critics alike and increased what was already a strong international reputation. During the 1980s many members of the ensemble returned to solo performance and other individual activities but, with the participation of several of the original members, the Compagnia was reconstituted in the 1990s. It recorded a number of successful new albums including Medina (1992) and Tzigari (1995) and appeared at several editions of the Sanremo Festival to much renewed critical acclaim.