2004-05 American Premiere

Staged Reading

Via Toledo by Night (1917)

A Neapolitan Musical

by Raffaele Viviani (1888-1950)

Translated by Martha King

Directed by Jane House

Music Director: Martin Hennessy

November 1, 2004

Elebash Recital Hall,

CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, NYC

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Cast and set for Via Toledo

Photos: Frank Hentschker

For more photos, click here.


A quasi-picaresque piece, the title of this one act refers to the night life on Via Toledo, a major thoroughfare in Naples. Viviani sets each of the seven scenes of the play in a different quarter of the city through which Toledo passes. Two groups are contrasted in the play: the wealthy free-livers who are able to indulge themselves in the Neapolitan nightlife and those who struggle to make a living in the cold night air. The play is filled with music and songs, written and composed by Viviani, who made intelligent use of Italian popular music as well as contemporary European and American musical styles. The first performance of the play took place at Teatro Umberto, Naples, on January 9, 1918. Raffaele Viviani interpreted four parts.