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Onesti ready to rock Evanston

Onesti Entertainment opened three new food and music venues in one place at the former 27 Live building in Evanston in January. After almost two years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in renovations, Rock ’N Ravioli Italian restaurant, Bourbon ’N Brass speakeasy bar and the Evanston Rocks music hall are now in full swing. Rock ’N Ravioli serves up recipes from the family kitchen of founder and CEO Ron Onesti. The “Rock ’N Rav” menu boasts an array of homemade fillings and sauces, including braised short ribs and potato, chicken Vesuvio, lobster and asparagus, and pumpkin with a Frangelico ...

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First-ever Bracciole Fest at Casa Italia

The Chicagoland Italian American Professionals will host its first annual Bracciole Fest from 2 to 5 p.m. on March 24 in the Chandelier Room at Casa Italia in Stone Park. Home cooks are invited to present their versions of the famous Italian stuffed meat roll for attendees to sample and judge. Prizes will be awarded for the best bracciole. To be a contestant, call CIAP Executive Director Salvatore Sciacca at 312-617-5031. Tickets to attend are $15 for members and $30 for non-members and include sampling of the bracciole, wine, pasta and salad. Admission can be paid in advance at www.chicagolanditalians.com ...

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Passero murals capture spirit of Avondale

When the Avondale Neighborhood Association asked Tony Passero to paint a pair of murals beneath the Metra viaduct on Kedzie near Belmont, the artist wanted to conjure something that reflected the spirit of the community. Having grown up in the neighborhood, he was in a unique position to tap into that spirit. He first went in search of the one word that best captures the essence of Avondale, but came up with a whole list instead: Strength, Grit, Perseverance, Ambition, Resilience, Hardiness, Motivating, Persistence, Tenacity, Diligence, Dedication, Commitment, Fortitude, Dignity, Honor, Passion, Vitality, Grace, Poise, Elegance, Finesse, Flexibility, Decency, Agility, ...

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Casa film series spotlights acclaimed director

Casa Italia devotde its fall film series to the works of acclaimed Italian film director Vanna Paoli. A co-writer of the Oscar-winning “Cinema Paradiso,” Paoli went on to direct nine films of her own. (See profile below.) Now living in the northern suburbs of Chicago, was on hand to offer insights into the creation of all four of the films in the series. A profile appears below. The films in the series were as follows. Friday, October 20 – “Cinema Paradiso” Young Salvatore Di Vita discovers the perfect escape from life in his war-torn Sicilian village: the local movie house ...

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Carmen: The first Verismo opera

  “Carmen” has been in the very first circle of popular operas for over a century. Anyone with any level of interest in the Grand Art should develop some kind of familiarity with it. As it is with all other very beloved operas, first and foremost “Carmen” is loaded from beginning to end with beautiful and memorable music — solo arias, ensembles, choruses — and even a number of purely instrumental passages that are unforgettable. The music is the creation of composer Georges Bizet, who unfortunately died young (at 36), and before he knew what a triumph “Carmen” had become. ...

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Passero celebrates Cubs victory with pair of murals

  With the Chicago Cubs making it to the World Series for the first time in 71 years, Cubs fever has swept the metropolitan area. In the 45th Ward, Jefferson Park Forward commissioned artist Tony Passero to paint a retro mural across from the Jefferson Park Terminal showcasing Cubs legends like Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg, Ernie Banks and Ron Santo. As the December issue went to press, Passero was putting the finishing touches on a mural across from Wrigley Field spotlighting members of the current Cubs roster. Commissioned by Major League Baseball, the mural was done in time for the ...

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Aliperta exhibits artwork in Glenview

  The artwork of Filippo Aliperta will be on display at the Book Market at Hangar One in Glenview through December. Born in Somma Vesuviana near Napoli, Aliperta has been painting since the seventh grade, learning over the years to create paintings in oils, acrylics and pen and ink and sculptures in ceramics, stone, metal and glass. A cosmetologist by profession, he owns Estetica Professional Hair Design in Glenview. He is a member of the Glenview Art League, North Shore Art League and Casa Italia Art League and he has served as president of Associazione Regionale Campania.

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Renaissance geniuses converge on Water Tower Place

    In “da Vinci & Michelangelo: The Titans Experience,” the curator of the da Vinci exhibit running through Christmas at Water Tower Place will take audiences on a journey through the Italian Renaissance as seen through the eyes these monumental geniuses. By comparing and contrasting their lives and accomplishments, Mark Rodgers relates them to today’s world while helping audience members discover their inner da Vinci and Michelangelo. The multi-media event features movies, videos, 3-D animations and images of their inventions, machines, sketches, codices, paintings and sculptures. For additional information and tickets, visit www.discoverdavinci.com.

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Ramazzotti to perform in Chicago!

  Italian pop superstar Eros Ramazzotti will bring his Perfetto World Tour to the Rosemont Theatre on Oct. 7. The show will feature selections from his multi-platinum “Perfetto” album plus hits that span more than three decades. Born in 1963 in a suburb of Rome, Ramazzotti began playing the guitar at the age of 7 and writing songs as a teenager. His career took off in 1984, when his song, “Terra promessa,” won in the Newcomers category at the Sanremo Festival and was subsequently released throughout Europe. Since then, he has released 11 studio albums, one EP, three compilation albums, ...

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The story behind “Lucia di Lammermoor”

  Ever since its première at the Teatro San Carlo on Sept. 26, 1835, “Lucia di Lammermoor” has held a firm position in the standard opera repertoire. For one thing, it’s Gaetano Donizetti’s greatest musical masterpiece, chock full of brilliant pieces from beginning to end, all brightly colored by the composer’s creative orchestration. For another, the text was very cleverly adapted by Salvatore Cammarano, whom Verdi declared to be the best librettist in Italy, from the 1819 novel, “The Bride of Lammermoor” by Sir Walter Scott, himself no slouch when it came to spinning a tale or turning a phrase. ...

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