“THE BODY OF THE VOICE” will be at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni until June, 30th 2019. An unusual journey through the voice as an auditory potential, where the word is separated by the sound. A path based on a scientific and experimental approach through the works of the mezzo soprano singer Cathy Berberian (1925-1983), the actor and director Carmelo Bene (1937–2002) and the singer and musician Demetrio Stratos. Three artists representative of the Nineteen Century avant-garde, when research overcomes tradition.

“What is clear of the language it is not the word but tone, intensity, modulation and rhythm of the words. Well, the music behind the words, the passion behind this music, the personality behind this passion: so all can’t be written”.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Frammenti postumi


The potential expression of the voice is open to many interpretations today too. In this image-oriented society, the voice and its uniqueness strongly insinuate with all its shade. The exhibition is based on a material and unworldly ground, feminine and masculine, poetical and philosophical, artistical and human approach.

“To free the voice is to free the person.”
Kristin Linklater, Teacher of voice

More than 120 works: photos, videos, archive materials, original score, writings, unknown works and interactive exhibit, listening areas and electronic machines used by the artists to test their own vocal potentialities. All these documents are well understood by specialized technicians and an incentive for common visitors.

Two scientific sections enrich the exhibition: the first one at the beginning, by Franco Fussi, doctor- surgeon, specialized in Phoniatry and Otorhinolaryngology, is a detailed analysis into the mouth where the voice materially raises. The second one, by Graziano Tisato, searcher by Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione (ISTC) – CNR Padua, is in the Stratos’ section with three interactive stations built for the exhibition to understand the artist’s vocal effects.

Demetrio Stratos esegue i “Sixty-Two Mesostics Re Merce Cunningham” di John Cage allo spazio Fiorucci di via Torino, Milano, settembre, 1977


Naturally moving among performance, poetry, music and theatre, Demetrio Stratos starts deep scientific research about his own potentialities. In 1976 starts a collaboration with the Center of Phonetical Studies by the Padua CNR. He studied the Freudian psychoanalytical thought and the vocal extra European techniques. Silvia Lellis photos about Stratos’ mouths are examples of the exhibition’s issues.

9 – Links

During the fifties, new vocal research is run by Cathy Berberian too into the electronic experiments but not only. With her ability to play different kinds of cantos full of expression, the artist becomes a creative incitement.


Such an interest pushes Carmelo Bene, from the sixties, to investigate different expressive styles through samples, amplification and reproduction of the sound. The classical theatre was changed into huge oral caves. During these years the voice becomes more and more important when Bene is a relevant actorial machine: less scene and more voice as pure listening.


Special events, movies, laboratories, family and children days about the voice will be offered beside the exhibition. All these activities to demonstrate that the voice is a universal and cross-communication instrument for everybody.

CURATORS: Anna Cestelli Guidi and Francesca Rachele Oppedisano
WHEN: from April, 9th until June, 30th 2019
WHERE: Palazzo delle Esposizioni, via Nazionale 194 – 00184 Roma
OPENING TIME: from Sunday to Thursday 10.00-20.00; Friday and Sunday 10.00-22.30;
Monday closed.


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