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Istituto to present a celebration of the accordion

No musical instrument is more closely associated with the Italian immigrant than the accordion, and no place in Italy is more closely associated with the accordion than Castelfidardo. Known throughout the world for the accordions it manufactures, this small town in the Marche region is the inspiration for a musical and theatrical celebration that will blow into the Windy City in April. Named after the avenue that runs through the center of Castelfidardo, “Via dei dollari” is the brainchild of author and singer Isabella Carloni, artistic director of Ancona-based Rovine Circolari. In an hour-long show in which the accordion is ...

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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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Memories of Ol’ Blue Eyes

  Dec. 12, 1915, Hoboken, New Jersey … “Chairman of the Board” to be Francis Albert Sinatra, was born to Italian immigrants. The wiry, blue-eyed kid with a huge smile loved to sing, and at the tender age of 8 sang publically for the first time. His father, Antonio, a lightweight boxer and Hoboken Fire Department Captain, propped him up on the bar in a local saloon to entertain his fellow firemen and “The Voice” was born. Music was his passion, and school wasn’t. He barely made it to high school before he decided to pack up his blue eyes ...

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Chorus shines in Lyric’s “Nabucco”

The real star of “Nabucco” is the chorus, and conductor Carlo Rizzi clearly understands this, as he gave the celebrated body their head. And under the direction of Chorus Master Michael Black, they sang more exuberantly than ever, thrilling the jam-packed Civic Opera house audience that braved single-digit temperatures to see the opera that launched Verdi’s career as the King of Italian Opera. Again and again, the chorus, if Hebrews, Babylonians or whatever, made the very most of each choral number. And they were consistently excellent whether singing distinctly as a chorus, like the famous Act III, scene ii “Va, ...

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How “Nabucco” changed Verdi’s life

  Giuseppe Verdi’s “Nabucco” is one of the most significant works of art ever created. Not only is its impact historic in launching Verdi’s successful career as an opera composer and so decidedly affecting the direction of Romantic opera, but it clearly had a historic impact on Italy and European politics. Indeed, it is difficult to imagine what Europe might look like even today if “Nabucco” had not been staged at La Scala in March 1842. Perhaps the greatest miracle of “Nabucco” was that it was the work of a very troubled young composer — certainly a talented man, but ...

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