Within throwing distance of Palermo’s world-renowned Teatro Massimo is another kind of world-renowned theater: the Opera dei Pupi or marionette opera of Figli d’Arte Cuticchio. For more than 80 years, in various formats, Giacomo Cuticchio’s company has produced mesmerizing performances featuring colorful sets and captivating marionette puppets. The different operas’ stories are set throughout history, and they feature kings, angels, devils, Arabs, lords and ladies, and fantastic creatures who through their scripts, present profound comments on Sicilian society—and humanity, in general.

A close-knit company of puppeteers expertly crafts the puppets, sets, and props, and then these same people act and sing the voices of the various characters, all while maneuvering the marionettes in a careful choreography from off stage. Children of all ages and nationalities are enchanted by the Opera dei Pupi.

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