“With my audio guide on San Gennaro I reveal the soul of the Neapolitan people”

NoonJune 20, 2022 – 19:14

The manager who brought together Toni Servillo, de Giovanni, Raiz and other artists to tell the Patron and his treasure speaks

from Anna Paola Merone

«A Treasure of Audioguide» is the new story that will guide visitors through the wonders of the Chapel and the museum of the Treasure of San Gennaro. An audio tour conceived and written by Ilaria D’Uva and Francesca Ummarino, played by Toni Servillo, Patrizio Rispo and Nunzia Schiano, with the welcome of Don Riccardo Carafa D’Andria, member of the Deputation of the Saint, and Monsignor Vincenzo de Gregorio, abbot of the Chapel, and the introduction by Maurizio de Giovanni. The original music is by Antonio Fresa and the project involves Raiz, Pietra Montecorvino, Eugenio Bennato, Maurizio Capone and the Sanitansamble Youth Orchestra. The promise is tempting: to immerse yourself in the suggestions of a unique place in the world where different themes intertwine. There is the devotion of Naples to its Patron, the singularity of a sacred place which does not however refer to religious hierarchies but to the Deputation which is a lay body in which the city is identified, the singular relationship of the Neapolitans with the Saint, the value of a treasure more precious than that of the English Crown that survived raids and looting. But the story of Ilaria D’Uva, the lady of the audio guides, who has very light hair artfully disheveled, transparent eyes and an open smile is also of importance. She is a daughter of art: Her father was the inventor of audio guides and he followed in her footsteps by taking up the baton with an imposing challenge, the Colosseum.


How was the San Gennaro project born?
«I started working with the Deputation 4 years ago, in the Chapel. Then it was decided to entrust me with the management of the Treasury and the jewels. It is a relationship that has grown slowly: the member of the Deputation Riccardo Imperiali, introducing me to Maurizio de Giovanni, said ” Ilaria came in quickly … and she got off the boat ”.

You have, however, a relationship with Naples that precedes the meeting with the Patron.
“I have Samnite roots. My father, Giovanni, came from Santa Croce del Sannio. Benevento like San Gennaro “

And he was the inventor of audio guides in Italy.
«He was just 19 years old and he invented a coin machine that told the treasures kept in a church or a museum through the handset of a telephone. There is also a very small photo of me next to one of these audio guides. At first he took quite a few doors in the face of Florence. It was 1959 and he went to Milan to look for some positive feedback and met Cardinal Montini, the future Paul VI who told him ” Young man, if Jesus had lived in our day he would have moved on a jet and not on a donkey ”. In short, he liked the idea and that was the beginning of everything, at the Duomo: my father invested in the devices, installed them and with the proceeds in coins extended his range of action. It cost the churches nothing even if there were those who thundered against electronic guides ».

Is your staff Neapolitan?
“In full, the boys involved in this adventure are all Neapolitans.”

Like her husband, crossed in Pompeii.
“Yup. I have a Neapolitan husband, architect, artistic director of our production. His name is Vanni Del Gaudio and his mother, combination, is from Benevento. We met in Pompeii: I was running a tender and my architect dumped me 15 days after the project was presented. I crossed paths with Vanni, who had designed the Workshop of the little ones for Città della Scienza and therefore was perfect for the teaching on which we would have had to measure ourselves and we never left each other. He is 15 years older than me, he left a woman he had been with for 28 years and today we have three children, Florentines who support Naples. They are 14, 12 and 10 years old and bear the names of their grandparents: Sebastiano, Giovanni Battista and Enza ».

Let’s go back to the San Gennaro project, which will be presented today. Why is it so special?
«It is a project that makes us very proud. The original music by Antonio Fresa accompany a narration that reveals the story behind the treasure made of donations from kings, popes, but also of common people such as the woman who took off her earrings and gave them to the saint: she had made a vow to be saved from cholera and pledged her only treasure. We have extraordinary voices: Toni Servillo, Patrizio Rispo, Nunzia Schiano. And then Maurizio de Giovanni and Monsignor de Gregorio who plays the organ of the Cathedral. And the peculiarity is that the audio guide is available in Neapolitan and even a German can hear the sound of this language that becomes vibrant with Pietra Montecorvino singing the song of the Parenti di ” Faccia Gialla ”. Eugenio Bennato wrote a passage dedicated to the King of Poggioreale, Giuseppe Navarra, who in the post-war period was commissioned to bring back to Naples the treasure of the saint that had been hidden in the Vatican to put it in safety: with the car that belonged to Benito Mussolini and the only company of the now ninety-year-old Prince Colonna carried out a very difficult task. Raiz in a piece dedicated to Queen Maria Theresa of Habsburg Lorraine – second wife of Ferdinand II, who failed to win the sympathies of the people – sings in the role of San Gennaro and explains the relationship of the Neapolitans with power and even with the hierarchies heavenly. Here, the singularity of this audio guide is that it tried to capture the soul of a people and to read in transparency its extraordinary relationship with San Gennaro and to reveal with emotion the story of a treasure and a cult that is history itself. of the city”.

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June 20, 2022 | 19:14

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