Gianni Franceschini

Born in San Giovanni Lupatoto in the province of Verona 22nd June 1954.
After studying at the Liceo Classico S. Maffei in Verona, he graduated in drama from the DAMS in Bologna under Professor Giuliano Scabia.
He has been a painter since childhood. After high school he had various artistic experiences, and was a singer-songwriter, mime artist and clown.
In the mid-1970s he started working in the theatre, then in children’s theatre and also popular theatre and theatre research.
In 1978 he began his professional career in this area. Painting remains his preferred activity, so much so that it has become a part of his theatre work.
He is currently artistic director of the art and theatrical company Viva Opera Circus.

Theatrical and other activities in the field of the performing arts

• From 1977-78 he was in charge of Radio Tartaro’s and Radio Popolare’s cultural and performing arts sectors in Verona, and a presenter on Radio Città in Bologna.
• From 1979-81 he was an actor and stage designer for the Teatro marameo company and the theatre co-operative “Pierrot Lunaire” in Verona, as well as managing the “Teatro Ristori” in Verona.
• From 1982-83 he was an organiser and artistic co-director of ARTEVEN-Circuito Regionale Veneto Teatro Ragazzi; artistic director of Ass. di Animazione “ARTIGAIO” di Verona. Assistant and observer of the opera “Aida” at the Arena of Verona directed by G. De Bosio
• In 1983 he co-founded A.I.D.A. (Associazione Italiana per la Diffusione Artistica), now named Fondazione A.I.D.A., whose artistic director he was until June 2000.
• He was a teacher in the regional animators’ school E.F.A-O.D.A. in Udine, where he taught a course in theatrical activities.
• 1984 Author and director of “L’Avventura di Romeo e Giulietta” (national tour). Author and director of “Viaggio immaginario” (national and international tour).
• From 1985 al 1994 author and director of the following shows: “Canto di Natale” (Verona) “Il Piccolo Principe... in volo” (tour in Europa, USA and Canada); “Piccolo come un pollice” (national tour); “Marcovaldo” (Italy and USA); “Verso OZ”, a co-production with the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York (Italy and USA). Also to be mentioned are productions of “Pinocchio”, “Histoire du Soldat” , “Quadri di un’esposizione”, these last shows being performed for the Ente Lirico Arena di Verona. Also, “La Leggenda di Re Artù”, “Il Pittore”, “Aladino”,” Vita fatata - Affabulazione cum Figuris”, “La Storia Intima”: shows Franceschini wrote and directed and often acted in.
• He played Hamlet as part of the Estate Teatrale Veronese, directed by Paolo Valerio, playing all parts.
• In 1996 he began collaborating with Veronese psychiatrist Vittorino Andreoli, bringing two monologues to the stage: “L’Imbriago” and “El Mato”.
• In December 2000 he débuts Vittorino Andreoli’s latest work, written specifically for him: “Butèi son straco”.
• For children, from 1997-2000 he brought to the stage as director, writer and main actor “Il Barone di Munchausen” , “ Il Tesoro di Peter Pan” and ”In viaggio con Arlecchino”. He wrote the show “L’Isola del tesoro” and wrote and acted in “Il racconto del lupo”.
• He directed “Il viaggio di Hans”, a musical work produced by the Ente Lirico Arena di Verona.
• He directed the show “Don Quijote, una istoria infinita” by Carlos Herans, put on by the Achiperre company from Zamora (E).
• After various short TV experiences, from 1999-2000 he devised and presented a programme for TeleArena di Verona, entitled “Girandola”, making about 40 shows centred on theatrical themes, pantomime, satire and poetry.
• He ran theatre seminars for children and teachers in schools throughout the city and province of Verona.
• He taught the course “I linguaggi dell’Animazione” at the CERRIS school in Verona. He taught seminars and regional courses for the Centro Pedagogico di Verona and for the Istituto Provolo.
• ln 1997 he published the book “Incontro con l’angelo”, Mediaprint, with an introduction from Vittorino Andreoli and Giuliano Scabia.
• In 1998 along with the “Terre dei teatri” theatre lab, he collaborated with the “Canovaccio” group from San Giovanni Lupatoto stage the show “La burrasca”, inspired by William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”.
• He made two videos for the Fondazione Zinelli: “Performance per Carlo” and “Nel segno dell’arte”.
• In 1999 he collaborated with Luoghi di Confine- Musicaurea to stage “Cieco folle amore”, a show featuring music, dancing, recitals and live painting inspired by the sonnets of William Shakespeare.
• He was invited to Rome for the 2000 Jubilee for a theatrical performance of “Arlecchino e suo figlio alla ricerca della luna tonda”
• In the summer of 2000 he took part on theatrical productions in the hills of Verona promoted by the province: “Racconti d’amore al tramonto”.
• He created other exhibitions: “Incontro con l’angelo”, “Il racconto del Lupo” and “Cieco folle amore”.
• He illustrated publications and books of fairy-tales, among which “I racconti di nonno Bebo” by Leonora Guerrini (Modena December 2000).
• In September 2000 along with Marisa Dolci and Gianni Volpe he founded the artistic and theatrical company Viva Opera CIrcus, all of whose performances he directed.
• He was invited by Marzia Pieri, professor of theatrical history at the University of Verona, to give two lectures on “Theatre from the 1970s to today” and “The role of the spectator in contemporary Italian theatre.”
• In 2001 he took part in the street theatre performance “Viaggio Visionario” by Luoghi di Confine “Extra Vagante” under the patronage of the Province of Verona, which was inspired by Don Quixote.
• He played the main role in Maffeo D’Arcole’s film “Le cassette”.
• He created an exhibition of figures and a show about Pinocchio, entitled “Io sono Pinocchio”, which had its premiere at the International Festival “Te Veo” in Zamora, Spain.
• He ran a workshop for young actors which put on A Jarry’s “Ubu roi”.
• He acted in Marco Campedelli’s tribute to puppeteer Nino Pozzo.
• He wrote, acted in and directed “Io sono Pinocchio”, a show for children produced in collaboration with La Piccionaia-I Carrara Teatro di innovazione. The show was presented at the Porto S.Elpidio International Festival and the Cervia International Festival “Arrivano dal mare”. It went on a national tour. He took it to the Pinocchio show in Paris. He was invited to the Sala Escalante during the Valencia International Festival.
• He put on and acted in two other works by psychiatrist Vittorino Andreoli: “Omeni, done e buteleti” and “San Zen che pianse”.
• In 2002 he acted in the show “L’ultimo nastro di Krapp” by Samuel Beckett, directed by Vincenzo Todesco.
• He ran theatre workshops dedicated to Ruzante for children from middle schools from all over Verona.
• He was a drama teacher at the Teatro Salieri school in Legnago.
• He brought to the stage and played the main role in Angelo Beolco (Ruzante)’s “Il Reduce”.
• He created the show “Acquarello” with musician G. Trovesi.
• He was invited to demonstrate storytelling at the 4th National Convention on Storytelling and therapy promoted by the Libera Università dell’Autobiografia di Anghiari (Ar).
• He directed the show “Il Gatto con gli stivali” in collaboration with the Centro stabile di teatro d’innovazione per l’infanzia e la gioventù La Piccionaia i Carrara and the Associazione Argante, going on a national tour with them.
• He directed the Compagnia Achiperre di Zamora (Spain) in the show “Pulgarcita”. He put on a series of storytelling workshops for teachers in Spain as part of the “Andersen” project.
• In 2003 he directed the show “Le storie dei mondi” with musicians Carlo Ceriani and Massimo Rubolotta.
• He directed Vittorino Andreoli’s “In piassa dele erbe ale cinque de la note”.
• He directed “Imaginar…” for the Caixeta company of Valencia (Spain).
• He taught drama at the Teatro Salieri di Legnago’s theatre school.
• He staged Ionesco’s “La cantatrice calva” at the Teatro comunale in Villabartolomea (VR) with the “Compagnia del Corso”.
• He was the artistic director of the “Capitan Fracassa” project, produced by VOCI e Punto in movimento for the Estate Teatrale Veronese.
• He directed the show “El cuento del lobo” by the “Achiperre” company of Zamora (Spain). Directed by Marta Fischer, he acted in Schnitzler’s “Girotondo”.
• He attended the International Festivals of Cervia and Gorizia with “Il gatto con gli stivali”.
• He created the show “Maschere” promoted by the municipality of Cerea (VR).
• He directed “Il gran teatro del mondo”, a show with French, Spanish and Italian actors.
• He attended the Bilbao International Festival (E) with “Io sono Pinocchio”.
• He illustrated Leonora Guerrini’s book “La befana e il principe dei minatori”.
• In 2004 he successfully continued the tour of “Il gatto con gli stivali”. The show “Io sono Pinocchio” was invited to the prestigious “Teatralia” festival in Madrid.
• The exhibition “L’anima delle maschere" was presented in February 2004 as part of Verona’s Carnival celebrations in the foyer of the Teatro Camploy. It was accompanied by theatrical performances by young actors and used the artist’s own paintings.
• For the 2001-02, 2002-3 and 2003-4 seasons he was the artistic director of the Teatro Sociale in Villabartolomea (VR).
• He participated in the City of Verona’s “Voci e Silenzi” event with the show “Storie dei mondi”.
• In June 2004 he debuted in the show "Bertoldo su la luna" written by writer and anthropologist from Veneto Dino Coltro. It was produced by the municipality of Negrar with support from the Veneto region.
• In July he took part in the Veronese summer season with "Le meravigliose avventure di Ulisse" with live music by Marco Remondini.
• In 2005 he participated in the show “Il gatto con gli stivali” at the “Semanas internacionales de teatro para niños” international festival in Madrid.
• In Valencia he directed the show “La historia de Zorbas y la gabiota Afortunada” Teresa de Juan Producciones teatrales.
• For the Sala Escalante of Valencia he was directed the exhibition “Viaje en el teatro” with the collaboration of Gianni Volpe for the stage and of Marisa Dolci for the illustrations.
• In December he debuted in “Gandhi, la via della verità”, written and directed by Vincenzo Todesco, in collaboration with Amnesty International.
• In 2006 he put on the show “Bianca come la neve” in co-production with the Accademia perduta Teatri and Teatrimperfetti.
• He participated in the Sala Escalante’s theatre season with the show "Il gatto con gli stivali”.
• He was the artistic director at the “Fiaba” festival in Legnago (VR) and “La scena incantata” in Nogara (
• In 2007 he took part in the “Beckett Puppet” festival (Gorizia, Torino) with the performance “Non io”, with Gianni Volpe and Maria Ellero, directed by Vincenzo Todesco.
• He directed the shows “Ci chiamavano banditi”, from the book of the same name by Guido Petter, “Canto dell’anima” with Teatrimperfetti in collaboration with Vodafone Italia, “L’impresario delle Smirne” for the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carlo Goldoni, and “Arlecchino alla ricerca della luna tonda”, which had its premiere in Ravenna as part of the “Arti della Marionetta” festival.
• He staged the “Acque magiche” show in collaboration with Coca Cola Italia for Nogara’s Festa dell’Acqua.
• He taught training courses for young puppeteers, organised by Ass. Granteatrino in Bari.
• He directed “Aventuras y desventuras del baròn de Munchhausen” by Vicent Vila Berenguer in Valencia, for the “Saga Producciones S.L.” company.
• In 2008, as well as taking his shows on a national tour, he was invited to Valencia to perform “Blanca como la nieves”. He directed the show “Il carro dei comici”.
• He was chosen as one of the actors to play Prospero in “Viaggio, naufragio e nozze di Ferdinando principe di Napoli” by Carlo Presotto e Titino Carrara, adapted from William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, which was presented at the first International Theatre Festival of Naples.
• He directed the show “El principe feliz” produced by the Teatre de la Caixeta Valencia.
• He was invited to the Festival de Titeres di Albaida (E) with the show “El gato con Botas”
• He directed the lyric opera “Bastian y Bastiana” for SAGA Producciones e Sala Escalante di Valencia.
• He was invited to the “Semanas Internacionales de teatro para niños” festivals (Madrid, La Coruña) with the show Canto de l’alma.
• His paintings “Racconti fragile” were exhibited in Capalbio.
• In 2009 he was invited to the “Festival Visioni di futuro, visioni di teatro” in Bologna with his show “La piccola Opera”.
• He held workshops for teachers, educators and other operatives entitled “L’arte figurativa e il teatro”.
• He directed and designed the stage in the productions “El tragasuenos” Teresa de Juan producciones and “Jugand amb Alicia” of the Compagnia LLuerna of Valencia.
• He directed “Aladino” in which his son Eugenio participated.
• His paintings “Il tempo delle fiabe” were exhibited at the Galleria Massella.
• In 2010, as well as taking his many shows on national tour, he directed the show “L’isola del tesoro”, a co-production with “La Piccionaia” Teatro stabile di innovazione.
• He participated in the “Visioni di futuro, visioni di teatro” festival.
• He held a workshop on art and the theatre for teachers, educators and other operatives.
• He held the workshop “ in Legnago.
• He held the workshop “Immaginazione e meraviglia” for children in Copparo (Fe)
• He was the leading actor in Mario Bianchi’s show, directed by Jacopo Boschini and produced by Attivamente, Teatro Sociale of Como, “Tutti i colori del buio”, presented in Como and at the Gallarate festival.
• He directed the show “Bocche di rosa”, a tribute to F. De Andrè. He took part in a project by Enrico De Angelis in collaboration with the University of Verona.
• He attended the International festivals in Albaida and Bilbao (E) with the show “Arlecchino vagabondo”.
• He held a workshop on the use of theatre masks as part of the Festival Internacional de Titeres di Albaida in Spain.
• He was invited to the Festival “Semanas intrernacionales de teatro para niños” a Madrid with the show “Piccola Opera”.
• His interactive show “Yo soy Pinocho” was staged at the Centre Teatral Escalante di Valencia (E).
• In 2011 he attended the Festival Internazionale di teatro in Bologna with “Visioni di teatro, visioni di futuro”, featuring the show ”Piccoli movimenti colorati”, a production by Teatrimperfetti di Bologna.
• He held a seminar on painting and theatre for educators and other sector operatives.
• His show “Todos los colores de todos los paises” was held at the Sala Escalante di Valencia.
• During the show” Infinitamente” promoted by the University of Verona, he held workshops for adults and children about theatrical masks.
• He took part in two performances with actor Andrea De Manincor at the Festival della lingua veneta.
• He held workshops and gave work experience to adults and children in various schools in the province of Verona.
• He took part in a performance entitled ”Parafrasando” at an evening event held at the University of Verona.
• He was invited to the show “Piccola opera” at the Festival Internazionale di Trieste.


Exhibitions of paintings

1974 Collettiva Sala Consiliare Comune di San Giovanni Lupatoto (VR)
1978 Galleria Tiziano San Giovanni Lupatoto (VR)
1986 “Figure, colore, visioni dell’immaginario” Centro Culturale San Giovanni Lupatoto (VR)
1990 “La scena del sogno” Teatro Filippini, Verona
1992 “La stanza delle apparizioni” Centro Culturale S.G.L. (VR)
1993 “Acquarelli” Verona
1997 “Incontro con l’angelo” Centro Atischa Verona
1998-99 “In piedi su una nuvola”
“Incontro con l’angelo”
“Le terre dei teatri”
Teatro Filippini Verona
“Segni e colori” Galleria Pavanello S.G.Lupatoto (VR)
1999 Exhibition at the Galerie Hamer, Amsterdam (NL)
2000 “Il racconto del lupo” exhibition at the Museo delle arti naives C.Zavattini Luzzara (RE)
2000 Exhibition at the Susi Brunner Galerie, Zurich (CH)
2000 “Yo soy Pinocho” Zamora (E)
2000 “Io sono Pinocchio” Spazio espositivo Acquedotto Ferrara
2000 “Tu cieco e folle amore” Teatro Nuovo Verona
2000 “Incontro con l’angelo” Palazzo Maggi Nogara (VR)
2000 “Spiriti del bosco” Villa Walzer Pozzo (VR)
2001 “Incontro con l’angelo” Copparo (FE)
2001 “Incontro con l’angelo” Villa Italia San Giovanni Lupatoto (VR)
2001 “Incontro con l’angelo” Argenta (FE)
2002 “Tu cieco e folle amore” Museo Fioroni Legnago (VR)
2002 “Madrigale innamorato” paintings for Garcia Lorca (Mn)
2002 “Fiori” Villa Ca’Montagna, San Zeno di Montagna (VR)
2002 “Fiori” Argenta (FE)
2003 “Incontro con l’angelo” Chiesa San Giovanni Battista
2003 “Mujeres” Galeria PuertoBanus Marbella (E)
2003 “L’anima delle maschere” Teatro Camploy Verona2004 Exhibition, Galerie Kaspar Morges (CH)
2005 “Il gioco dell’arte” AreaPerfosfati Cerea (VR)
2005 “El teatro toda una historia” Sala Escalante Valencia(E)
2006 “Non io” Torino
2006 “L’anima delle maschere” Palazzo Maggi Nogara (VR)
2006 “El teatro toda una historia” Antiguo Istituto Gijon for the Feria internacional de teatro (E)
Claustro collegio universitario Zamora (E)
Casa de cultura Ontinyent (E)
2006 “Non io” Centro Cultura Friulana Gorizia
2006 “Il sentiero del bosco” Villa Coronini Gorizia
2006 “Il sentiero del bosco” Ferrara
2006 “Alla finestra del teatro” Foyer de la Sala Escalante Valencia (E)
2007 “El teatro toda una historia” Teatro Principal Orense
Celta (E) Requena Elegido (E)
“Acque magiche” Nogara (Vr)
“Acque magiche” Villa Coronini Gorizia
“Non io” Verona
“Figure” at the Pia Opera Ceccarelli S.Giovanni Lupatoto (VR)
“Icone d’amore” Manciano (Gr)
2008 16° rassegna Internazionale arte naive Mandria di Chiasso (To)
Capalbio (Gr), Sala rosa Palazzo Collacchioni
“Racconti fragili”
Bari, Casa di Pulcinella “Alla ricerca dell’angelo”
2009 Show at the Galleria Massella di Verona “Il tempo delle fiabe”
2010 Show at the Galleria Massella “L’anima delle maschere” “Abbracci” “L’amore impossibile” In Valencia, Sala Escalante creates the installation “Yo soy Pinocho”
In Bari, Casa di Pulcinella exhibits “In piedi su una nuvola” and “Acquarelli”
Exhibits at Monselice (Pd) Complesso museale San Paolo, curator prof. Renato Guglielmo “Tu cieco e folle amore”
2011 Exhibits at Copparo (Fe) at the Villa Bighi “Donne di boschi, cielo e acque”
Participates in the live painting show “Parafrasando” Università di Verona

He has participates in the Premio Nazionale dei pittori Naifs show in Luzzara (RE) for many years


“Verso Oz” by G. Franceschini VR 1988
“La storia intima” by G.Franceschini VR 1990
“La mama” “La putana” “La pierre” by Vittorino Andreoli
Nuovi Orizzonti Legnago VR 2000-2002
“I racconti di nonno Bebo” by Leonora Guerrini MO 2002
“La befana e il principe dei minatori” by Leonora Guerrini MO 2003
“Il parlamento di Ruzante” Nuovi Orizzonti Legnago VR 2003
“Beroldo su la luna” by Dino Coltro VR 2004
“Ci pensa la luna” by Maria Ellero UD 2005
“Il racconto del lupo” by G.Franceschini VR 2007


Museo delle arti naives C.Zavattini RE 1998
“Incontro con l’angelo” VR 1998
“Animales” Zurich 2004
“El teatro toda una historia” Valencia (E)
“Tu cieco e folle amore” VR 2006
“Spiriti” VR 2006
“Il racconto del lupo” VR 2007
Premio dei pittori naifs di Luzzara catalogue over many years of publication.


1983 Premio Nazionale Naifs Luzzara (RE)
Best young innovative painter, naïve art category.
1983 Painting purchased by Museo Cesare Zavattini
1992 Painting purchased by Museo Cesare Zavattini.
2000 Premio Nazionale Naifs Luzzara (RE) Master of naïve art.
2004 Premio art brut Galerie Kaspar (CH)