The man behind the mask.

hostausTheatre Reviews & Media

Maestro Commedia Dell'Arte Antonio Fava

Published in: The Advertiser, Nov 9, 2011
Author: Patrick McDonald

MAESTRO Antonio Fava is a man of many faces, all crafted from leather in a centuries-old tradition of Italian mask theatre.

Director of the International School of the Comic Actor in Italy, Maestro Fava is an expert on the 16th century theatre style commedia dell'arte.

"All these masks are my personal elaborations of traditional, historical characters," he says.

More than 25 of his hand-made masks will be on public display in the next week at UniSA's Magill Campus Library and the Festival Centre.

There are four main types of characters - the lovers (who do not wear masks unless in disguise), foolish old men, military officers and devious servants. "Then the variations are hundreds," Maestro Fava says.

He has come to Adelaide at the invitation of UniSA's first performing arts PhD student, Corinna De Niro, who studied at his school in Italy in 2004 and now has her own troupe, Commedia Con Corinna.

The masks are carved from wood and topped with leather. His favourite character is Pulcinella, or Punch.

Maestro Fava will hold workshops with students and actors this week, and a masterclass at Concordia College on Saturday.

He will perform with Commedia Con Corinna at Nexus Multicultural Arts Centre from 5pm on Sunday.