CONTROLUCE Theatre of Shadows was born as a theatre group in 1994 in Turin by the encounter between the Spanish painter Jenaro Meléndrez Chas and musicians Cora De Maria and Alberto Jona, thanks to their shared passion for the theatre. The initial idea was to combine music, abstract painting and techniques of oriental shadow theatre with the aim of creating a common artistic project, which soon developed in two directions, one towards Puppetry -dedicated to an adult audience- and one towards Musical Theatre.
In the music field, with some surprises and adventures, CONTROLUCE has proposed staging opera and contemporary music with shadow theatre. The group has participated in festivals, exhibitions, theatrical and musical events in Italy (including the season of Unione Musicale, MI-TO and Teatro Piccolo Regio in Turin, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Lugo Opera Festival in Lugo di Romagna, Teatro Regio di Parma, Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova, Pordenone Silent Film Festival, Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Festival of the Itria Valley in Martina Franca, Mittelfest Cividale, Teatro Stabile di Torino, Teatro Stabile di Genova etc.), Europe (Germany, Austria, Spain, France, Holland, Great Britain, Ireland, Switzerland, Portugal, Poland, Bosnia-Herzegovina), North Africa, North America and South America and Asia.
In November 2013 CONTROLUCE debuted in opera direction with Bellini's lL PIRATA at the Landestheater Niederbayern in Passau, Landshut and Straubing. In 2015 it was engaged for the second time for the direction of Bellini's LA STRANIERA.
2014: the group made his debut in London and Japan with great success of audience and critic and also collaborated to the Kate Bush return show at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, hailed as one of the biggest events of pop music in last decades. October, presentation in Yverdon, Switzerland, of a new version in French of the chamber opera GULLIVER by Bruno Moretti with Les Boulouris 5 and Francesco Biamonte in the title role; November in Basel DIDO and AENEAS with the group Novantik Project Basel. December debut with the Adriano Guarnieri Scenic Cantata THE MOURNFUL SCREECH OF STEEL dedicated to the tragedy of the Thyssen Krupp steel plant happened in Turin in 2007.
2015/16 season, a new collaboration with the ORT in Florence and regular collaboration for new education-productive projects with the Conservatory of italian Switzerland in Lugano (DID-ONE Purcell/Bussotti, POPP-KREIS Monteverdi/Stockhausen) and the Conservatory of Milan (KNOWS THOU THE LAND WHERE THE LEMON TREES BLOOM? Italian Canzoniere of Hugo Wolf, DES KNABEN WUNDERHORN Mahler).
2016: Collaboration with the Unione Musicale of Turin with DES KNABEN WUNDERHORN. December debut in Milan of BUTTERFLY BLUES at "Madama Butterfly in Città" project organized by the Municipality of Milan for the Scala opening of the 2016/17 season with Puccini's Madama Butterfly.
2017 February in Lugano, staging and direction of THE GARDEN OF LIFE opera by José Maria Sanchez Verdù, musical director Arturo Tamayo, repeated in April for the inauguration of the 56th Semana de Musica Religiosa de Cuenca in Spain. October, premiere in Turin of DRACULA RockShadowOpera, (project, staging and direction, production Fondazione Teatro Ragazzi), in collaboration with Perturbazione rock group of Turin, repeated in November at Milan Music Week.
2018 February, debut of LES VILLES INVISIBLES in Switzerland. March, new version of Schoenberg's PIERROT LUNAIRE with Pierrot Ensemble directed by Alessandro Maria Carnelli. June, debut of the opera for children THE DREAM OF Mr. RODARI by Nuria Nuñez Hierro con libretto by Jacopo Masini at the Accademia di Spagna in Rome.
Among the upcoming engagements, for January 2019 the intervention with shadows in the new opera MINOTAURE by Michelle Reverdy with libretto by Julien Mage.
Controluce has collaborated with writers, musicians, composers, artists, music and cultural organizations such as Alessandro Baricco, Mario Brunello, Jordi Savall, Kate Bush, Kenneth Weiss, the String Quartet of Turin, the Debussy Trio, Orchestra Regionale Toscana , the Italian String Orchestra, Quartet Terpsycordes, Icarus Ensemble, Gabriel Garrido, Leonardo Garcia Alarcon, the Teatro Regio in Turin, the Butoh Company Shizuku of Tokyo, Adriano Guarnieri, Nicola Campogrande, Bruno Moretti, José María Sanchez Verdú, Luisa Castellani, Andrea Liberovici, David Livermore, Antonella Usai, Paola Bianchi, Dario Voltolini, Rosa Mogliasso, Vinicio Capossela, Elio, the National Museum of Cinema.