As part of Ciao Philadelphia, a month-long celebration of Italian culture in the greater Philly area, Rowan’s Music Department hosted one spicy performance celebrating both the art of opera and the history of the nation which brought it to life.
“The Cultural Power of Italian Opera,” featuring performances by division faculty, students and alumni, was hosted by associate professor of musicology Dr. Davide Ceriani.
“The Ciao Philadelphia event was recognized by the Italian consulate,” Ceriani said, “and it has various events in Philadelphia, Delaware, and within the trip-state area. There are various events within music and theater. So we decided to take care of the music part so we organized a series of arias, songs, and ballads, which is the perfect format for this place.”
Ceriani’s personal attachment to opera through his own Italian culture informed much of his involvement.
“For me this place provides the perfect connection to where I’m from and the United States. When I was hired here, I realized it would be a perfect place for me because percentage-wise, this is the highest concentration of Italians,” Ceriani said. “There are more Italians, say in New York or Boston, but percentage-wise, South New Jersey has one of the highest percentages. This is something I didn’t know before coming here. Some are from Naples or Sicily, but also a lot from regions on the Adriatic side, and it’s very interesting to see these patterns of immigration.”
Ceriani also used his time on stage to provide short lectures about the history and story of each opera with a short introduction.
“The idea is to inform and entertain the public at the same time,” Ceriani said. “[So] in that way, it’s better for the people who attended. That’s how I think of lectures here at the university, to make it informative and entertaining at the same time.”
Sophomore music education and vocal performance double-major Diana Claps performed first on the program, with “Vittoria, mio core.”
“This was a great opportunity to not only perform but also to celebrate Italian culture and music,” Claps said.
Ceriani expressed his delight with celebrating his musical heritage with others.
“I am very happy, very proud to represent my own culture,” Ceriani said. “These kinds of events, they help to bring a connection, a bridge between a lot of community and the university. So I am always happy to be a part of it.”
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