Maybe it is something in the water or the mountain air that has made our small Southern Italian village, Pontelandolfo, a breeding ground for talented artists, musicians, writers and actors. Michele Albini, a successful actor is a case in point. Pontelandolfese have cheered their native son as he appeared in numerous films, television shows and on professional stages.
Albini was born to be a performer. At the age of six, he was playing the piano. By seventeen he was acting. He even served as a young artistic director of Gruppo Teatrale Folk Ri Ualanegli. (Our folkloric dance and theatre company.) Yes, it is true, for decades we have had an incredible folkloric dance company in Pontelandolfo.
In 2001, after a three-year stint as an Air Force Officer, Albini decided to move to Rome and study theatre and music. Soon we were seeing him on posters, playbills and of course in theaters. 2012 found him accepting “Il Premio Massimo Troisi” award in the New Generation category. (This is a huge deal.) He has been on stage in such theaters in Rome as the Elysée, Teatro dell’Opera, Cometa Off, Teatro Due, as well as, at the Teatro Massimo in Benevento and at the Cimarosa in Aversa. Flicking around the television dial, we have caught him acting in shows like Gente di mare, Don Matteo, Il mostro di Firenze, Donna Detective 2, I Cesaroni, and La vita che corre. Instead of me prattling on about his talent – check out his Showreel!
Sadly, I’m in New Jersey this month so I couldn’t dash over to Rome and see Albini in his latest professional production, “L’Amico Ritrovato.”
Based on the internationally successful book, L’ Amico Ritrovato shares the story of two boyhood friends, Hans (played by Michele Albini) and Konradin whose friendship, was suddenly interrupted in 1935 by Hitler’s racial laws. The bond between a Jewish boy and a German boy is broken by episodes that will forever divide their lives. Many years after his separation from Konradin, Hans receives a letter that unexpectedly rewrites a part of their history.
Director, Alessandro Sena, using an adaptation written in collaboration with Marco Tassotti has created a moving work where the word, the movement and the music, create a strong scenic impact. The characters move in different historical moments from the 70s to the 30s recounting the horrors caused by Nazism and friendships that will always unite us.
When he is not acting, Albini is a writer and a musician. This past August, Jack and I were lucky to see him perform with his talented brother, Romeo in a musical biography of the Beatles, “In Spite of All The Danger”. Michele Albini wrote, performed and directed the piece. The production, produced by Egeria, was held in the village’s mini amphitheater. It was a perfect summer night filled with music, wine and the talented Albini family.
I am sure there will be more creative projects in store for Michele Albini and I hope we are on the right side of the Atlantic to see the next one.