​​​​​​​​​​​​​Film Production "Un uomo e una voce"

Realization of a feature film on Beniamino Gigli

The customer

Giuseppe Conti Film is the director and the producer of the film "Un uomo e una voce" dedicated to the figure of Beniamino Gigli, one of the most famous opera singers of the twentieth century.

The plot

A popular village, the father is a cobbler while the mother a housewife, together they sing lullabies.
Beniamino grows in a decent poverty with other five brothers. When he was six, his father was forced to change job and to become the bell-ringer of the Cathedral. Beniamino joins the choir of the Cathedral of San Flaviano, his voice emerges on all the other voices enchanting the devotees in the church. He gets acquainted with the elderly priest of the Cathedral, Don Romano, in the evening they took a walk up to Colle dell'Infinito, the old priest conveys awareness to Beniamino to be born in the city of the great poet Giacomo Leopardi. During the summer vacation, Beniamino is sent by his father to learn a job, unfortunately without success. At the age of twelve, he ends the compulsory school. He begins to work as handyman at the pharmacy of Doctor Verdecchia. He delivers to the customers’ homes concoctions, and jujubes using a wheelbarrow towed through a leather strap while singing in the city streets. Some university students of Macerata hear him sing in church and offer him a job in a show, "La fuga di Angelica”, where he has to sing soprano and dress like a woman. His parents tried to hinder him, despite this, he gets the job and is very successful. In a tavern with a lawn bowling court he meets a chef from Bologna who works in a seminary in Rome and who persuades him to move to Rome by his brother, he promises him great aids, which will never be fulfilled. Once in Rome, he misses the admission to the Schola Cantorum of Don Lorenzo Perosi. He again works as handyman at a pharmacy, he goes hungry, eats "chunks" of meat scraps that he shares with his brother Catervo. He starts attending singing lessons privately with professor De Stefani, paying twenty liras per month. He then finds a job as servant at the Contessa Spannocchi, who will turn to be a great help in many occasions. A new singing teacher, professor Agnese Bonucci, is willing to give him credit. He is called up for military service, meets his first love Ida, with whom he dates in the streets between Via Nazionale and Pincio. The war in Libya breaks out and he has to thank his uvula if he’s not called to arms. His relationship with Ida drowns due to the separation. He wins the contest at the Academy of Santa Cecilia, which marks the beginning of his success. In the evening he sings under a false name in the palace of the countess Spannocchi to the presence of the Roman “noblesse”. During the final reception, Beniamino sings "O Paradiso" from the Africana by Meyerber; among the chattering noblesse, a woman dressed in a humble way sits silently, mum Ester. A storm of applause bursts while Maestro Rosati turns to Beniamino and says in a deep voice: "Now, you’re ready to face the world ". Footage of Beniamino singing in the most famous theatres in the world. For his fellow compatriots, he sings the song “mamma” on the ship that brings him back to Italy, the arrival at the villa, the hug with his mother, the farmers celebrating him, he sings "Se vuoi goder la vita". Radios give the sad announcement, Beniamino Gigli is dead.

Trailer del film

The goals

The choice of having involved "our" Daniele Donati for the photography of the film depended mostly on the idea of the director to realize the entire film using only a focal length of 50mm and to base it on the symmetries of the image; the experiences matured by Daniele in this field are indisputable.
Another strong point of the film was the live recording of the audio in Dolby 5.1 masterfully realized by "our" Francesco Sardella as sound director.

Diego Ciarloni

Giuseppe Conti

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