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Il Mattatore

TV and...

Title: Il Mattatore
Authors: Vittorio Gassman, Guido Rocca, Federico Zardi, Indro Montanelli
Musical Director: Piero Umiliani
Director: Daniele D'Anza
Episodes: 10
Period: From 02/04/1959 to 04/22/1959

Listen the opening theme...
X Vittorio Gassman & Piero Umiliani:"Matador" X

Piero Umiliani and Vittorio Gassman during the show.


After his first comic role in “
Big Deal in Madonna Street” by Monicelli, Vittorio Gassman decides to host an innovative TV show.
He has already interpreted a memorable Shakespearian Hamlet in the
RAI radio studios, also performed in theatres with big success.
This is the right moment for him to experiment with the TV, which is a big novelty.
The actor, along with the authors
Guido Rocca and Federico Zardi and the famous journalist Indro Montanelli, creates something totally new, which Rai defines like a “mixed show”.
It is a one man show, in which Gassman sings, dances, acts, performs and talks about current affairs.
Umiliani, who had already dedicated to the actor a theme titled “
Gassman Blues” in the soundtrack of the above mentioned movie, supports his performance with excellent music. Just like Gassman, Umiliani expresses himself with music in many different styles: jazz, Italian swing, opera, classical music, Dixieland choirs and improvisations.
In this show nothing is taken for granted and, after 10 episodes, it finally ends on April 22, 1959.
This is a determinant experience in Umiliani’s career who, after this challenge, goes back on TV with the shows “Moderato Swing” and “Fuori l’Orchestra”.


The record “
Il Mattatore”, a 10" released by Fonit Cetra after the end of the show, is to be considered as the 11th episode of the TV show, like Gassman himself states in the microgroove with his intense and charismatic voice.
The album gathers pieces taken from different famous plays like the “
Cyrano de Bergerac” and “Julius Caesar” and also themes from Umiliani’s soundtrack including the happy tune “Matador”.

The musical score of ''Matador'', song title of the show.

The 10'' LP cover of ''Il Mattatore'' (Cetra CLV 0609).

The backcover of the LP with the notes of Nanni De Stefani.

“Il Mattatore” remains a unique experiment in the history of Italian TV, just like the notes accompanying the lyrics written by Gassman: “matador, toreador and a hundred more names, dictator, emperor, director, first actor, conductor, commander and great conqueror

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