U tamburu

by Nino Pino

U tamburu is a dramatic fable based on Zeami Motokijo’s The Damask Drum, and reinvented by the Sicilian poet Nino Pino, who has set it in an imaginary palace of the emperor Charlemagne.

An old gardener working in the grounds of the palace, on seeing a lady-of-waiting at the court, dares to fall in love with her, despite the difference in their age and rank. The lady, disturbed by such boldness, decides to make fun of her suitor: so she makes her consent to his love conditional on what is in fact an impossible task: the old man has to strike a drum, made of damask and hung from a mulberry tree in the park, with so much force that the sound will be heard everywhere.