Interview to Luca Baldini and Stefania Sandroni

Officine della Cultura is a cooperative that was founded in 1997, based in Arezzo. From the very beginning, it is responsible for planning, organising, producing performances and festivals in the music and theatre industry.

Luca and Stefania, both board members of this institution, told me about their activity.

What does Officine della Cultura do?

Anything that has to do with Officine della Cultura includes the conception, planning and creation of cultural events broadly speaking. Our activity is basically the following: we programme, we organise and produce live performances in the music and theatre world. Officine della Cultura is versatile, it manages to move through the people who work there, each with its own peculiarity.

The Orchestra Multietnica experience is an interesting one, what is it about?

Photo by Alessandro Botticelli

The Orchestra Multietnica (multi-ethnic orchestra) of Arezzo is a formation of around thirty musicians in which people, through their music, spread the message of harmony between populations, a message of peace and hospitality. With them, we think and create our own musical and theatrical productions. The last one is Occident Express, and a part of this orchestra is also part of the show. With this project, we did 105 dates in Italy, our products get out of Arezzo and we are very happy about this.

What does it mean to work for Officine della Cultura?

It means to feel part of an important project. Everything we create comes from ideas that were born in here; a few suggestions come from outside but they are developed inside our cooperative. In short, everyone is fundamental for the success, so each of us needs to feel the project as their own, there is no result if not everyone works perfectly.
Whatever our product is – a show, a festival, a theatre season – a particular engagement is needed, as well as contribution and collaboration from everybody. It is clear then, that the initial sharing of ideas and the contribution each artist can give is important for the success of a performance or a festival. Well, we couldn’t do anything else but our job.

Can you tell me something about your project on a European scale?

We participated to a European project, The Backstage, dedicated to young technicians’ formation in small/medium theatres. This figure knows everything about how the theatre machine moves. It is a very developed role in Italy; we are one of the countries that has the smallest theatres in the world! For two years, we have worked on this project with Norway, Bulgaria and Germany. Participants had the chance to study, to follow online courses and then go abroad for three months for an internship. Four people from Arezzo left while other young Europeans came to the city.
In the next years, we would like to develop other European projects; we are trying to study new ideas, selecting European open calls that could involve our industry.

Thanks to Luca and Stefania!

If you want to know more about Officine della Cultura:

Teresa Zammuto

Translated by Giuliana Vargetto