500 years of “Orlando Furioso” in Teramo
To celebrate 500 years of the first edition of Ludovico Ariosto’s chivalricpoem “Orlando Furioso”, in which the author imagines a space flight before its time, on 22 July 2016,the Astronomical Observatory of Teramo will host the play “Su l’ali del destrier verso la Luna”.
The play, staged by the company Il teatro della Memoria, is part of the Serata Ariosto which is organized in the context of the summer 2016 events sponsored by INAF-Astronomical Observatory of Teramo. The event will feature choreographed songs, live performances with copies of period instruments and commedia dell’arte scenes, narrating a fantastic journey through the four elements of Aristotle’s cosmology to the Moon following Astolfo in search of Orlando’s lost wits.
The Director of the Astronomical Observatory of Teramo Roberto Buonanno explained the reasons for this important initiative: “By opening our doors to the public, we are trying to illustrate the path that science makes to achieve its goals. In this framework, we decided to present characters that, while representing the “defeated”, are as important as successful scientists in defining the history of science. This year we have organized a show on Ludovico Ariosto, a contemporary of Copernicus».
“Orlando Furioso”, in fact, places itself in the moment of transition from the ancients’ cosmology to Copernicus’s modern cosmology. Ariosto takes up Aristotle’s cosmology but he describes a Moon with mountains and lakes, anticipating Galileos’s description of the Moon. Even the symmetric point of view which allows Astolfo to see the Earth become smaller and smaller as he approaches the Moon is one of the first intuitions of space flight and takes away from Earth the central role that Aristotele had given to it.