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Marionettistica Fratelli Napoli di Catania

women, heroines and ladies
at the Opera dei Pupi
The hundred years of puppetry of the Naples Brothers of Catania.

curated by Alessandro Napoli.


12 June - 17 October 2021 Civic Museum of Noto
Corso Vittorio Emanuele 149 - Noto (SR)



On the occasion of the centenary of the birth of the Marionette of the Naples Brothers of Catania, founded in 1921 by Don Gaetano Napoli, the exhibition Women, heroines and ladies at the Opera dei Puppets. The hundred years of puppetry of the Naples Brothers of Catania, curated by Alessandro Napoli.

Sikarte in partnership with Turnè Sicily, has conceived and created this exhibition which aims to enhance the Opera dei Pupi and the historical and artistic heritage of Noto, both recognized as Unesco Heritage.

Upon entering the Civic Museum of Noto, the visitor finds himself admiring, together with the permanent collections of the museum (Sala Frammenti Medievali and Galleria EE Pirrone), the six sections in which the exhibition is divided, respectively dedicated to: the creation of the puppet inside "Of the puppet shop"; to the signs, real advertising posters, tempera paintings on wrapping paper, distributed throughout the city in order to communicate and promote the show; the themes and repertoire of the Opera dei Pupi; to the figure of the woman as a character and as a professional in the production of the show as a speaker and costume designer; and the last section is that of the staging, the backdrops, the wings, the costumes.

The exhibition pays particular attention to the role of women in the Catania tradition of the Opera dei Pupi. Women as characters of the stories represented in the repertoire of the Naples Brothers, and therefore exemplary figures of queens, princesses and armed heroines. But also women who take an active part in the production and staging of the shows, and therefore talkers and costume designers. Among these stands Italia Chiesa Napoli, who passed away in 2018, a great interpreter of the female characters of the puppet stories and tireless life and art companion of Natale Napoli, set designer and poster designer, with whom he assumed the responsibility of maintaining the tradition of 'Opira in Catania.

The Marionettistica dei Fratelli Napoli has favored the realization of the project by lending the works and taking care of the scientific and artistic direction; from the Muscà (museum of Sicilian cart) collections, on the other hand, comes a selection of signs painted by Rosario Napoli in the first thirty years of the twentieth century as posters to advertise the shows.

"This year marks the hundredth anniversary of the birth of the Marionette of the Naples Brothers of Catania - explains Fiorenzo Napoli, the artistic director of the company - founded in 1921 by Don Gaetano Napoli. It is now universally known that the tradition of the Opera dei Pupi, of which the Naples Brothers are illustrious and recognized standard bearers, is one of the most representative brands of identity of the island culture. The Marionettistica of the Naples Brothers of Catania has remained active without interruption from 1921 to today, overcoming the great crisis that hit the Opera dei Pupi in the fifties - seventies of the last century. In fact, the company has been able to adapt the Catania Opira to the needs of the contemporary public, while remaining faithful to the codes and rules of traditional staging. " "The theatrical world of the Catania Opira - adds Alessandro Napoli, scientific curator of the exhibition - so rich in suggestions, has given rise to its own forms of artistic craftsmanship: puppets, scenes and signs. These artifacts, to be considered among the most significant products of Sicilian folk art, are the constituent elements of the so-called mysteries, "craft", that is, the set of all the theatrical equipment that allowed the puppeteers to stage their evenings. The Napoli family today preserves the only ancient craft of the Catania style that has remained intact and complete, with which Marionette has worked from 1921 to today, making puppets known in Italy and around the world. It is a precious cultural asset of great historical-anthropological interest, acquired, preserved and enriched by the Naples Brothers in their hundred years of activity ».

Part of the set-up, from the display elements to the didactic panels, is eco-sustainable. The organization, very attentive to the environmental issue, has entrusted, also for this exhibition, the realization of its exhibition projects to a technical partner of the sector, Archicart, who has modulated the cardboard not only for the technical and didactic supports but also for the realization of the stage reproduction of the puppet theater present in the exhibition, a scenographic element strongly desired and designed by Sikarte.


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Dates 12 June - 17 October 2021.


It can be visited every day from Monday to Sunday from 10.00 to 13.00 and from 15.30 to 20.30.


  • full ticket: € 10.00;

  • reduced ticket: € 8.00 residents of Sicily, Sikarte members;

  • reduced ticket: € 7.00 users with the tourist card: "Noto Card";

  • reduced ticket: € 7.00 users over 65, university students,

  • children aged 12 to 18, groups of at least 6 people;

  • reduced ticket: € 6.00 users residing in Noto;

  • reduced ticket: € 4.00 schools and children aged 6 to 12;

  • Family ticket: € 22.00 for all families consisting of two adults and at least one child aged 6 to 18 (maximum valid for 5 people).

Beneficiary categories free admission:

  • Children up to 5 years;

  • Journalists registered in the order after accreditation;

  • Tourist guides duly authorized to practice the profession;

  • ICOM (International Council of Museum) members;

  • Tourist interpreters when their work is needed alongside the guide, by showing a valid license, issued by the competent authority:

  • Disabled and invalids recognized by law and an accompanying person; Accompanying teachers of students of educational institutions of all levels, public or private, duly booked and authorized by the school head.

  • Guests of the municipal administration.

  • State and political personality in official representation.





+39 334 199 9072

Valentina Barbagallo Press Office

+39 349 84 71 800

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