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Friday, September 19, 2014 | Last updated: 12:49am

Zoppé Family Circus performs seven-generation, family story



This past weekend the Zoppé Family Circus returned to Tucson for its second year. The circus was hosted by UApresents at Reid Park. There were nine performances and students could get into the event for only $15 with a CatCard, said Darsen Campbell, the marketing and publicity manager for UApresents. Campbell said UApresents invited the circus back to add culture to Tucson.

The Zoppé family has been performing this circus the same way for 170 years. His ancestors started these performances in 1842 in Venice, Italy. Zoppé’s father, Alberto Zoppé, brought the circus to the United States when he was asked to be in a show by John Ringling North. Giovanni Zoppé has since carried on the tradition performing with his mother, two sisters and their husbands.

“We’re not like other circuses where it’s one act after the other. We tell a story during our show ­— the story of our family, seven generations,” Zoppé told UApresents.

This one-ring circus, despite being small, came fully equipped with trapeze artists, a tightrope walker, horses, two clowns, and even some performances using fire.

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By Gabriela Diaz / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Gabriela Diaz / Arizona Daily Wildcat Zopp Family Circus continues their performances in Tucson until Jan. 13 at Reid Park as one of the final performances of the season.

Besides being the owner and producer, Zoppé is also one of the clowns, Nino. Zoppé said that Nino is his alter ego.

“Or Giovanni is his alter ego, that’s a better way to put it,” Zoppé said.

Campbell said the tent only holds about 500 people but on Saturday, the show was sold out.

Spectator Lisa Sieglaff said she used to go to the big circuses like Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey, and that she really enjoyed taking her kids.

Attendee Ross Reisinger, who had come with his wife and two children, said they went to the Zoppé Family Circus last year as well. He said overall, it’s a well put-together show.

“Everything this circus did is the way a circus is supposed to be,” Zoppé said.


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