Sting plays in the Secondigliano prison with a guitar built with the wood of the “barconi”

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Yesterday, Thursday 27 April, Sting visited the “Pasquale Mandato” prison in Secondigliano, performing in a concert in the spaces of the prison facility.
For the occasion, he played a guitar made with wood from the boats of migrants from Lampedusa, given to him by the prisoners. The British musician then had lunch in the canteen with the prisoners.

“A great honor to have him here. We shed tears of joy, because he touched everyone’s soul strings”, says the director of the prison, Giulia Russo.
Present together with Sting, there was his inseparable wife: Trudie Styler.
The historic event attracted many guests, including the Campanian guarantor of the prisoners Samuele Ciambriello, the president of the social cooperative L’Uomo e il Legno Rita Caprio, father Antonio Loffredo and Arnoldo Mosca Mondadori.

Sting greeted the inmates shouting: “Come on Naples!”

The English star finally took his leave with the best exclamation he could make in Secondigliano: “Forza Napoli!”, he shouted enthusiastically, referring to the blue Scudetto to which everyone’s mind is surely gone. And everyone will certainly have responded in chorus “Always!”, as is customary for Napoli fans…

Certainly from the testimonies of the event (and from the words of the extremely excited prison director) Sting’s hosting left an indelible mark in the hearts not only of the inmates, but also of all the prison staff and of the director herself.

The doubly symbolic value of the guitar built with the wood of the “barges”

The greatness of this event lies not only in the performance of a great international music star in a structure that is usually certainly not used to hosting them. The historic significance of Sting’s concert – who played a guitar built with wood salvaged from the shipwreck of the “barges” of migrants from Lampedusa – has a doubly symbolic value precisely because of that instrument.
The guitar was created personally by the hands of the inmates who work in the carpentry workshop, choosing as raw material not just any wood but a material that unfortunately is steeped in pain, death and suffering. So that guitar contains one of today’s worst plagues, namely the death at sea of ​​many migrants who hope to find a new life by plowing the sea and who instead are shipwrecked in the worst death that exists in the world. But, on the other hand, giving new life to that wood symbol of death and pain is like performing magic, an alchemy capable of transforming something that is not gold at all into gold.
Using it to create something good (namely an artifact born from the ingenuity and work of inmates, and – last but not least – a musical instrument, which bringing art is always something positive) means performing a virtuous recycling, both of the physical material in itself than of the symbol that drags along, in spite of itself.

Director Giulia Russo: “We all cried for joy”

“Thrilling”. With this word the director Giulia Russo defines the meeting with Sting. talking to the Neapolitan newspaper The morning. “We shed tears of joy, because he touched the soul strings of everyone, from prison guards to inmates, especially when he sang Fragilewhich in this context meant even more closeness and humanity on his part”.

Sting and his wife proved to be “really close to the prisoners”

The director of the “Pasquale Mandato” prison in Secondigliano underlines how the singer-songwriter and his wife have proved to be “close to those who live in a cell both with their eyes and with their hearts”.
Russo is also keen to point out how the magic of this historic event and of the precious gift offered to Sting – with all the associated symbology – could have happened thanks to the “quality of a project like Metamorphosis – born from a memorandum of understanding between the administration penitentiary and our management – reflecting our mission and this is what animated the project promoted by Arnoldo Mondadori’s Casa dello Spirito e delle Arti Foundation”.

The concert took place in the prison courtyard

Sting was accompanied by his band to perform a short concert hosted in the courtyard of the prison, near the pavilions where the inmates live.
The excitement was palpable, with a burst of applause from everyone to the tune of Fragileone of Sting’s most famous hits.
The prison population welcomed the star with a banner reading “Welcome Mister Sting”.

Sting also played hits by The Police

The artist offered not only his solo tracks but also classics from his band, the Police. From Every Breath You Take to Message in a Bottle until Englishman in New Yorkperformed many of the hits of the legendary band he led up to 1984 (the Police disbanded in 1984, then reunited briefly in 1986 and then again for a world tour in 2007-2008).

This special concert was prepared by the English singer-songwriter in recent days, as soon as he arrived in the city of Naples. Here he met some local musicians, including Dario Sansone of Foja and the trumpeter and jazz composer from Benevento Luca Aquino, whom Sting had met in 2016 at the Olympia in Paris for an event by the French drummer Manu Katché.

All morning spent together with the prisoners

After the delivery of the guitar and the performance of Sting together with his group (composed, among others, by Dario Sansone and Luca Aquino), the English musician and his wife Trudie spent the rest of the morning together with the prisoners. They then had lunch side by side with the inmates, appreciating the menu served in the canteen (based on products grown by high security inmates in the internal garden of the penitentiary).
Gnocchi with tomato sauce, grilled vegetables and baked meat with potatoes made up the lunch, receiving great approval from the VIP couple.

The two shook hands with many young and old, bestowing sincere smiles. “They even wanted to pay for water and coffee but obviously we didn’t let them,” the director said with a smile.
“For the first time in this almost twenty-year journey with the L’uomo e il Legno cooperative, I witnessed a show of pure emotion inside the prison,” said Rita Caprio, president of the L’uomo e il legno cooperative.
The grand finale was then the farewell greeting, when Sting shouted to everyone: “Come on Naples!”. “Always”, all in chorus.