The Zoppé Italian Family Circus takes family entertainment to new heights, performing Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Match 22, 23 and 24 under the intimate, one-ring Big Top on the Concert Lawn at South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center.
The audience is treated to the best of Old World Italian tradition, with a circus that features acrobatic feats, equestrian showmanship, canine capers, clowning and plenty of audience participation. Giovanni Zoppé, a sixth-generation circus performer who stars as Nino the Clown, captures the hearts of the audience with his playful antics. “We try to touch every emotion during the show,” he says. “They’ll laugh, they’ll cry, and they’ll feel for the characters. It’s more of an event than a show.”
The Zoppè Italian Family Circus emerged from humble beginnings more than 175 years ago to become one of the legendary circuses in all of Europe. And like many good legends, it began with a boy and a girl falling in love.
In 1842, a young French street performer named Napoline Zoppè wandered into a plaza in Budapest, Hungary, looking for work. There, his eyes glanced upon a beautiful equestrian ballerina named Ermenegilda, who captured the hearts and minds of the crowd with her grace and showmanship. More important, this talented beauty captured Napoline’s heart.
However, since Napoline was a clown, Ermenegilda’s father saw him as beneath her and disapproved of their relationship. The two ran away to Venice, Italy, and founded the circus that still bears their name. Over the generations, the circus survived wars and political upheaval in Italy and the rest of Europe.
Performances in the Big Top on the Concert Lawn, Friday, March 22 at 7pm, Saturday, March 23 at 1, 4 and 7pm, and Sunday, March 24 at 1 and 4pm. For tickets, visit smdcac.org. Brought to you by the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs.