Gesualdo – Murder, Madness and Madrigals

Carlo Gesualdo – beastly murderer and divine composer – is one of the most striking figures in the history of music. Based on his dramatic honor killing, the film tells the story of multi-facetted, revolutionary music and the search for forgiveness.


Gesualdo, 47, is the Prince of Venosa, a musical genius and insomniac. Every night he lies awake, haunted by the gruesome act he committed on the 16th of October 1590. Developing from this opening sequence, the documentary tells the story of this extraordinary character, well-illustrated through visits to the original settings in Naples and the village of Gesualdo, as well as enacted scenes.


Through the power of music, the film explores the thin line between fascination and disgust. How is it possible to commit a capital crime, yet write divine music? Are crime and genius interwoven? And can salvation through music be achieved?

Documentary, 2019, 52/60 Minutes
A film by Andreas Morell

DOP: Nikolai Sevke
Sound: David Aliperti
Stringer: Carmen Té
Editor: Nina Mühlenkamp
Producer: Lucie Tamborini
Executive Producer: Bernhard von Hülsen, Maria Willer

A 3B-Produktion GmbH production for WDR together with ARTE. With the financial support of the Film Commission Regione Campania.


International Distribution: Naxos