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Music

Place des Arts’ 50 Years

Place des Arts’ 50 Years

On September 21, Montreal’s Place des Arts – the largest performing arts centre in Quebec – celebrated its 50th anniversary, marking the occasion with a presentation of Léo Delibes’ opera Lakmé and officially opening the 2013-2014 season of the Montreal Opera Company.   Considered one of the major construction projects that changed Montreal's metropolitan landscape in the 1960s, the Place des Arts…

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The Music of Immigration

The Music of Immigration

Italian popular music of the 1950s was dominated by the themes of departure, separation, nostalgia, longing and return. When Italian immigrants got off ships in North or South America, they still had these songs ringing in their ears: “Terra Straniera” by Luciano Tajoli, “Vola Colomba Bianca Vola” by Nilla Pizzi, and “Binario” by Claudio Villa. These songs also influenced Italian cinema in that decade, and later the work of…

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The Diversity of Italian Music

The Diversity of Italian Music

For many people, Italian culture is synonymous with music. Most agree that the Italian language is very melodious, with its long vowels, and is therefore well suited for music and poetry. In this issue we have collected a variety of articles that demonstrate the broad international reach and the many different styles of Italian music that go beyond commonly held…

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Lucca: City of Music, City of Puccini

Lucca: City of Music, City of Puccini

The Tuscan city of Lucca boasts a long musical tradition. Almost everywhere you turn, there is a piazza dedicated to a famous musician or a palazzo housing a school of music. Lucca is also the birthplace of the great opera composer Giacomo Puccini, and by all accounts a disproportionate number of world class musicians and composers including the likes of Nicolao Dorati, Giovanni Lorenzo Gregori, Francesco Barsanti, Francesco Geminiani, Filippo Manfredi and…

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Beatrice Chancy in Bellagio – A Memoir

Beatrice Chancy in Bellagio – A Memoir

At Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, as I set to studying for my comprehensive examination in English literature in the spring of 1992, I did enjoy imbibing and absorbing Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Burns, and Blake, and all the other time-tested immortals of the British canon. But it was the poet Shelley who electrified me, particularly his drama, The Cenci, which was published in Rome, in English, in 1819. Shelley was a…

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Alexis in Bollywood

Alexis in Bollywood

Italy has the music of opera and the many singers this music has produced. My country, India, has the music of Bollywood films which is starting to gain worldwide appeal. I work as a physical therapist with a handicapped young woman named Alexis who loves to listen to music. When I first met her about five years ago, she would listen to Andrea Bocelli almost every day. Her Italian father said…

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Italian Opera: la troppo ricchezza

Italian Opera: la troppo ricchezza

Everyone loves Italian opera. French composer Georges Bizet is said to have admitted that he loved “Italian music as one loves a courtesan.” Six of the top 11 most frequently produced operas in North America, according to a recent survey, were Italian, and two others were in Italian (by Mozart, of course). Picking one’s favourite from the nineteenth and early…

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And the Band Plays On…

And the Band Plays On…

Montreal’s oldest Italian organisation, the Order Sons of Italy, is also the city’s oldest Italian band – and they have the photos to prove it! Joe Fratino doesn’t care much for the spotlight. Even as president of the Order of the Sons of Italy, the oldest Italian organization in Montreal, he usually prefers working in the background to ensure that…

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Wop-Pow-Wow

Wop-Pow-Wow

Wop-Pow-Wow is Angelo Finaldi’s latest project, a daring and bewitching trip into the Italian roots of an atypical musician. With this CD, Finaldi fuses Italian musical tradition with the rest of the world. Finaldi’s music keeps the grace and sensuality of its Italian origins, but becomes intertwined with countless other styles such as hip-hop, blues, folk, reggae, jazz and funk.…

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Alberto Gazale Sings Boccanegra

Alberto Gazale Sings Boccanegra

Alberto Gazale, the young yet accomplished baritone who stepped into the international operatic limelight ten years ago under Riccardo Muti’s baton, held the title role in Opéra de Montréal’s rendition of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra, a dark and fascinating melodrama set in late medieval Genoa. The performance was met with enthusiastic reviews and nary an empty seat at Place des Arts. The Sardinian-Veronese baritone held centre stage with authority and a well-rounded and powerful voice. I…

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Gigi D’Alessio World Tour Stops in Montreal

Gigi D'Alessio, one of Italy's newest singing sensations, lit up the stage at the University of Montreal Concert Hall last April. The concert was the last of his 2003 world tour which saw him tour North America, Australia and Europe. Playing before an enthusiastic crowd, Gigi delighted fans with singles from his latest CD, Uno come te. D'Alessio's ease on…

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