The Great Duel between Orlando And Rinaldo for the Beautiful Angelica’s Sake

Saturday, October 27th, 7:30 PM*

*The performance will be followed by a reception (cash bar).

A captivating entertainment for all ages, the Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul (ICC) and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura of Chicago (IIC) present The Great Duel Between Orlando and Rinaldo for the Beautiful Angelica’s Sake by the Italian theatre company Associazione Figli d’Arte Cuticchio for the first time in the Twin Cities.

This is a rare opportunity to see a performance of the Sicilian Opera dei Pupi/Puppet Theater, led by master puppeteer Mimmo Cuticchio, one of the last heirs of this theater form, outside of Italy. An understanding of the Italian language is not required to enjoy this enthralling show WITH LIVE MUSIC.

In 2001, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) proclaimed the Opera dei pupi, a form of theater that dates back to the end of the 18th Century with stories based on epic medieval stories, a Masterpiece of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

The program also includes:

  • Free matinées for schools at the Illusion Theater (10/24 and 10/25 at 10:00 am) 
  • A workshop led by Mimmo Cuticchio at the Open Eye Figure Theatre (10/27 at 9:30 am)
  • A talk led by Michael Wyatt (Stanford University) at the Center for Early Modern History, University of Minnesota (10/26 at 12:15 pm)

After Minneapolis, Mimmo Cuticchio and Associazione Figli d'Arte Cuticchio will continue their tour with a workshop at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura of Chicago and performances at the University of Chicago and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Co-presented by the Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis / St. Paul and the Istituto Italiano di Cultura of Chicago and curated by Francesca Bortoletti, Associate Researcher at the University of Minnesota. Hosted by the Illusion Theater, the Open Eye Figure Theater and the Center for Early Modern History.  

This event is made possible by: the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Italy, the French and Italian Department of the University of Minnesota


Magical adventures, daring escapes and thrilling battles between knights and animal creatures are part of the action-packed story, inspired by medieval tales and Renaissance poems. Paris is under siege and many of King Charlemagne's knights have left in pursuit of Angelica, the beautiful daughter of a rival king. The General Captain Orlando, the bravest of all, has deserted the Court too. Consequently, Charlemagne appoints his nephew Rinaldo as the new commander of the French army. Eventually Rinaldo neglects his duty and burning with passion for Angelica, challenges Orlando to a duel. The two noblemen would certainly kill each other were it not for a wizard’s intervention!  

With this show that comes from the distant lands of Sicily for the first time in Minneapolis and the Midwest, we want to invite everyone in the Twin Cities to join us in a magical moment of theater to rediscover ancient legends, but with today's sensitivity and approach. 

Click here for a study guide.

This performance is free but we welcome donations.  
Donations will directly benefit The Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul and The Illusion Theater. 

Reservations Available September, 2018