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Share: Italian opera - The awkward middle child - Verdi’s Les vêpres siciliennes

The awkward middle child: Verdi’s Les vêpres siciliennes

By Holly Nicholas  Published on the Opera21 blog: http://opera21.tumblr.com/post/66388302740/the-awkward-middle-child-verdis-les-vepres

Click here for the full issue

‘Why can’t it just be normal?’ This was the implied complaint in an elderly gentleman’s question to Stefan Herheim, after his dramaturge; Alexander Meier-Dörzenbach had taken us through their concept for a new production of Verdi’s Les vêpres siciliennes at the Royal Opera House. This was ostensibly in response to Herheim and Meier-Dörzenbach’s ‘alternative’ setting for the piece: instead of thirteenth century Palermo, the plot unfolds within the Paris Opéra of Verdi’s time, thereby engaging the history of the piece itself as a dramatic force. This is especially relevant for Vêpres, considering the Draconian influence that the commissioning theater had on the shape on the piece, namely the requirement of a ballet in the third act, which was at odds with the Italian melodramme Verdi was accustomed to composing. But what is the effect of not ‘being normal’, and what advantage does it have in bringing one of Verdi’s more obscure operas to light?

Read more…


Celebrating Spring with FAI events: Easter, Pasquetta and May Day

Photo of Basilica di San Francesco dal Bosco from Wikimedia commons is in the public domainPhoto of Basilica di San Francesco dal Bosco from Wikimedia commons is in the public domain

There are a number of great outdoor FAI events to celebrate the Spring (Italian):  http://www.fondoambiente.it/Attivita-FAI/Index.aspx?q=eventi-per-famiglie-per-pasquetta-e-25-aprile

For example,  there is an intriguing set of activities at the Bosco di San Francesco (Italian ):  http://www.fondoambiente.it/Attivita-FAI/Index.aspx?q=vivi-la-primavera-al-bosco

“Concerts of sacred music, yoga in the woods, picnics among olive groves and glades, special tours and fun games for the kids: discover events at Bosco di San Francesco, Assisi, Easter, Easter Monday, the weekend of April 25 and the long weekend of the first of May, live with us in the spring. - See more at: http://www.fondoambiente.it/Attivita-FAI/Index.aspx?q=vivi-la-primavera-al-bosco#sthash.8MIZgqc7.dpuf

Ci sentiamo presto, Lina


Italy photos: Ponte Fabricio, Rome, Italy by Lorenzo Perego

Ponte Fabricio, Rome, Italy by Lorenzo Perego Visioni ItalianeItaly photos: Ponte Fabricio, Rome, Italy by Lorenzo Perego Visioni Italiane


Italian opera at La Scala – on my “bucket list”

Photo of Piazza Scala by Giovanni Dall'Orto from Wikimedia Commons in the public domainPhoto of Piazza Scala by Giovanni Dall’Orto from Wikimedia Commons in the public domain

Since the fateful moment that I discovered opera, I have wanted to see an opera at La Scala.  I have heard that the Italian audience is very knowledgeable and demonstrative and I have dreamed of being surrounded by Italian opera-goers at an Italian opera.  Since I manage to cry at practically every opera I see, whether it is out of  joy or sorrow, I hope I will fit right in!

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Easter in Italy: 5 things you have to know by WalksofItaly

Excerpt from WalksofItaly article:

"Easter in Italy is a major holiday—in some ways, it’s even more important than Christmas! Celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox (yes, we’re confused too), Easter in 2013 falls on Sunday, March 31. (And if you want to sound like a local, don’t call it Easter… call it Pasqua!).

If you’re going to be in Italy during the Easter holidays, here are 5 things to expect!”

Continue reading…link to WalksofItaly site


Publish free blog articles about Italy!

Campo_Fiori scaled

At Madeinitalymall we will let you publish any article for FREE  that is related to Italy and the Italian culture. You’ll get hundreds of weekly Madeinitalymall blog visitors for your article and associated link.  Interested?

Learn more about contributing an article on our new contributor information page: http://www.madeinitalymall.com/blog/write-article/

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Ci sentiamo presto,  Lina


Italy (Caserta) dances the Williams’s #happy song



One of my Italian friends had told me that I *had* to go to Monteriggioni while I was in Siena, that it was this tiny walled town full of cute shops and restaurants always abustle with activity. So I looked up restaurants on TripAdvisor and decided to go there after I left the Abbey of San…


Italy photos: Ostia Antica, Lazio, Italy by Lorezo Perego

Ostia Antica, Lazio, Italy by Visioni ItalianeItaly photos: Ostia Antica, Lazio, Italy by Visioni Italiane


“Florence is the city” by Nicola Antonucci

I had an opportunity recently to interview Nicola Antonucci, the co-author of the book “New Made in Italy: Come usciremo dalla crisi” http://goo.gl/iYGLqi

We are publishing the Q&A from the interview in a series of articles…stay tuned for the next article…Lina

Q:  What is one of your favorite places in Italy and why should people visit there?

A:   Florence is city where the mix of cultures and ideas that we describe in our book is amply in evidence.  It is a dreaming city. Historically, it has had a good mixture of art and science.  In fact there was a kind of “New Made in Italy”, but 600 years ago during the Renaissance.  At one point we even considered incorporating the term Renaissance into the title. The Renaissance was certainly a beautiful age of humanity.  During that time the culture was cosmopolitan, very open to other cultures.

Leonardo da Vinci of course mixed art and science and we make reference to the Leonardo III project in the book. That project has had a lot of success around the world, reconstructing and revitalizing the designs and ideas of da Vinci.


"Virtual piazza" a reality on the blog!

Photo of Lungotevere by Lorenzo Perego Visioni ItalianePhoto of Lungotevere by Lorenzo Perego Visioni Italiane

You may have noticed that there are a lot of new “faces” lately on our blog as we have been sharing material from a variety of contributors lately (for example, the above photo by Lorenzo Perego).   What you may not know is that we currently have about 30 contributors that participate on our blog and we are receiving inquiries on a regular basis about participation in our “virtual piazza” about Italy.

Behind the scenes we have been building momentum for a Contributor Program for the blog and we are now ready to open the floor to the writers out there who want to contribute! If you have articles, comments, or photos related to Italy and Italian culture, we want to hear from you!

Contributing is easy here is the link to our new contributor information page:  http://www.madeinitalymall.com/blog/write-article/

Ci sentiamo presto, Lina


Tour of Lake Como by Lenny Blandino

Villa Erba in CernobbioVilla Erba in Cernobbio

When people think of Northern Italy they usually think Milano and fashion, Venice and the Laguna and maybe Turin with the Egyptian Museum. One well known area, but perhaps less considered is Lake Como, Lago di Como; a beautiful Lake that sits on the border between Italy and Switzerland. Famous among Northern Italians for short day-trips or romantic getaways, it is also a favorite destination for Germans, Swiss and Northern Europeans for their summer vacations.

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3 tips to increase your blog traffic

You don’t have a blog yet? Start for FREE:  http://www.madeinitalymall.com/blog/write-article/

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Enjoy your day with a little break of Italian Dolce Vita,



Bencivenga Couture Spring collection is here!

foto bencivenga purse - scaled

bencivenga mahalo girls - scaled

I am introducing the Bencivenga Couture Spring Collection - we have a great mix of bright florals and classic, elegant styles

photo bencivenga shoes - scaled

We have new designs for both men and women

photo bencivenga mens shoes - scaled

bencivenga foto - scaled

More to come….Oscar Bencivenga -  www.bencivenga.eu

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