A busy Italian week in Florida

Feb 07, 2018 1207

Il Circolo, the Italian Cultural Society, had a banner week-end from February 2 through the 5th. Events included participation in a program called Italy in Transit sponsored by Florida Atlantic University; the 3rd annual Italian Fest, a street fair held at Sanborn Park in Boca Raton; an opera concert by the Palm Beach Opera Apprentice Program held at Palm Beach Atlantic University and an Aperitivo, (social gathering) at Eau Palm Beach.  

The FAU program included a presentation by Barbara Salani who gave an emotional talk, enhanced by photos, memorabilia and music about her book Music for Life, a story of her father and uncle who survived life-threatening experiences, including captivity in a concentration camp.  Their artistic talents gave them the strength to persevere and ultimately gain notoriety in a peaceful world.

Another unique display was a photo exhibit of everyday–life in Italy captured by Joan Nova, during her many travels there.  While the pictures were projected on a screen, FAU students recited snippets of poetry in Italian and English, specifically selected to accompany each scene. While the audience marveled at the creativity of the presentation, it also brought the photographer to tears of delight.

Immediately after the symposium at FAU, the Italian Street Festival began at 4 o’clock. In its third year now, an estimated crowd of 8000 enjoyed non-stop live music, feasting, singing, etc.  Leaders of the local Italian organizations were brought up on stage to be recognized for their efforts to preserve and promote Italian Culture.

On Sunday, ten apprentice artists from Palm Beach Opera sang selections from Italian operas.  All ten, along with their pianist, Timothy Accurso, displayed extraordinary talent.  Rick Zullo, PB Opera Marketing and PR Manager, greeted the audience and particularly thanked renowned opera singers, Virginia Zeani and Marilyn Mims, for attending.  A standing ovation at the end and expressed wishes of the audience to repeat a similar program next year gave them the accolades they deserved.  Yes, indeed. Il Circolo will plan one next year.

L’Aperitivo is a program designed by Jenifer Mangione Vogt to encourage participation in Italianizing.  The objective is to provide an easy way for young people to meet and share their Italian heritage.  Over a cocktail and small bites, they chat and exchange experiences, forming new relationships.  The second of its kind was held on Monday.  Italian Consul Gloria Bellelli, former Senator, Maria Sachs, and Superintendent of Palm Beach County Schools, Robert Avossa, were special guests.  They praised Il Circolo for its 42 years of commitment to preserving and promoting Italian Culture and encouraged the young people present to follow its example.

This was a week-end of non-stop events spread throughout the county and thanks to the energy of  members of Il Circolo, each one was well-attended and successful. Grazie a tutti.

SOURCE: Il Circolo

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