Tammuriddara – Assummata di lu corpu di la tunnara – Navaii (medieval sicilian music)

The multiple influences that Sicily has undergone during the course of the centuries have left their imprint in the various traditions of the island. We are here discussing music, but in other fields of artistic and scientific endeavour these influences are also evident. Merely walking through some of the Sicilian villages will bring this home. For this reason, the present recording presents us with a wide range of these musical influences in medieval works. From traditions linked to the sphere of Muslim influence (it is not by chance that the CD begins and ends with a muezzin’s call to prayer) to carnival songs in the purest Mediterranean tradition. Here, perhaps, in these songs springing from the very deepest oral roots, is the most interesting part of the recording. Counterpoint is represented by a series of conductus and tropes from a manuscript copied on the island in the 12th century, preserved today in the National Library of Madrid (Ms. 19421), known as the Troparium of Catania, an interesting source which also transmits some liturgical dramas. The songs taken from this liturgical manuscript contrast stylistically with the other pieces. The instruments accompany discreetly and efficiently, but the voices almost always sound forced. In the pieces from popular tradition (such as, for example, A la viddanisca, with its incipient cantus planus binatim, a kind of simple polyphony) this timbre works well, but in the liturgical repertoire it sits strangely. On the other hand, the addition of attractive instrumental pieces and the inclusion of a jaw’s harp accord a special colour to the recording.

In Loving Memory JOANN ARPIANI

Joann Arpiani baptized into the hope of Christ’s resurrection, Thurs., Feb. 22, 2018. Beloved wife of the late Derio Arpiani, daughter of the late Stephen and Anna Gambaro; dear sister of Ben Gambaro and the late Pasquale “Lino”, Steve, Frank and John Gambaro; dear sister-in-law of Gloria and Dottie Gambaro and the late Helen and Shirley Gambaro; dear aunt of Annamarie, Joann, Frank and Carol, Eugene, Steve and Ginger, Sandra and David, Mimi and Joe, Derio and Linda, Chris and Diane, Jeff and Sharon, Greg, John and Barbara; dear great-aunt and great-great-aunt to many and ‘Aunt Nini’ to all. Joann was devoted to family and friends, and to her beloved Missouri Bakery. She will be greatly missed. In lieu of flowers, donations to The Sick and Elderly Program of the Hill. Mass will be at St. Ambrose Church, 5130 Wilson Ave at 9 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 26. Interment Resurrection Cemetery.


In Memory of Joann Gambaro Arpiani


Who turned 100 years this pat June 2017

by Marianne Peri-Sack

JoAnn Gambaro Arpiani and Derio Gambaro

JoAnn Gambaro Arpiani, the matriarch of the Gambaro family and Hill icon, turned a beautiful 100 years old on June 27. The Italians are fond of the phrase “Cent’ Anni” wishing someone to live for one hundred years and you can almost always hear the phrase at a Baptism or at a birthday party. Most people do not reach this stage in their lives but this classy lady did with much style and a great deal of grace. She has been a zealous activist in the Italian Community and is the only woman Cavaliere in St. Louis. It Italian government honored her with this title for her years of work in the Italian community and the title is the equivalent of being knighted by the Italian government.

Arpiani has been involved in many organizations and a multitude of fund-raising and cultural events. She was the first woman to be allowed to join the Italian Club and she established a scholarship in her brother, Lino Gambaro’s, memory at the Professional Businessmen of the Hill (PBM). Lino was a founding member of that organization and deeply involved in the scholarship program.

JoAnn’s family founded the Missouri Gambaro Bakery in 1923 as a wholesale outlet for her family’s restaurant on Grand called Garavelli’s. The bakery was located on the Hill and as the wonderful, mouth-watering aroma wafted through the neighborhood, people began to knock on the door and inquire if they could purchase some of the bread, etc. Thus one of Missouri’s most famous retail bakeries was born.

JoAnn worked with her brothers for many years and the current owners are her niece, Mimi Gambaro Lordo, and nephew, Chris Gambaro. JoAnn proudly states, “We did no advertising. It was all word of the mouth which is your best advertisement.” On Thursday, July 27, her large circle of friends and family members kept visiting to congratulate JoAnn and the doorbell kept ringing with florists arriving to deliver gorgeous flowers of every kind and color.

The Gambaros were gathering from all over the country. Stephen Gambaro was arriving at the airport at 2:00 in the afternoon. Sandy Gambaro arrived the day before from Chicago and took her Aunt Nini to the Chase Park Plaza with some other family members. Derio Gambaro was picking up longtime friend of the family, Monsignor Sal “Turiddu” Polizzi. That evening her close-knit family and some friends converged on her home to spend the balance of the special day with her. We all know that it is a small world, so through a Gambaro cousin who works for, Mario Batali’s cousin, Batali heard about Aunt Nini and was impressed. The cook and author extraordinaire sent her one of his autographed cook books along with a note. It read: Dear Aunt Nini, Buon Compleanno. I hope you have a fantastic celebration of 100 years with your family. I often think about the fantastic cannoli from your bakery, and I wish you another century of homemade deliciousness.

‘Tuscanyness’ Film Explores the Detachment of Modern Italian Architecture and the Fight to Restore Faith in Design


 Following the evolution of architecture in Tuscany, this documentary maps out the decline of the region in the shadow of Brunelleschi and Alberti. From the 14th century onwards, Italy underwent a cultural rebirth that changed the entire world, bearing the architectural mastery of the Renaissance. However now, there appears to be a detachment within modern architecture and little work for the many architects who are being forced to emigrate.

Courtesy of 120g

Courtesy of 120g

Tuscanyness presents a dramatic portrayal of the abandonment and neglect that the region’s architecture has fallen into over the last 60 years, exploring the root causes of the problem. Interviewing a range of forward-thinking Italian architects, 120g’s documentary shares their perseverance to establish a vision of the future to recreate the spirit of the Renaissance and form a dialogue with the heritage of the country. The film covers the topic of identity, landscape, and beauty associated Tuscany’s classical and modern architecture as discussed by the architects.

Courtesy of 120g

Courtesy of 120g

Having premiered late last year, Tuscanyness has traveled around Europe and has recently been released online for the public to learn from the experiences of working in a region overshadowed by its past and the fight to restore faith in Tuscany’s contemporary architecture. The Pisa-based cultural association, 120g, has also been involved in many other projects concerning architecture both in Italyand abroad to promote interdisciplinary and transversal cultural activities between architecture, the visual arts, and engineering.

Courtesy of 120g

Courtesy of 120g

News via: 120g.



Salvatore Scarpitta in front of #59 race car, Hagerstown Speedway, Maryland, 1987. Image courtesy Luigi Sansone.

6:00 PM

Free. Please register here.

Salvatore Scarpitta: Racing Cars follows the thirty-year trajectory of an American original, from object-maker to performance artist, from gallery to race track. This major reexamination of a seminal postwar American artist focuses on his racing-themed artwork, including his race cars—both replicas and fully functional—the largest collection ever assembled in a museum in the U.S.

Scarpitta led a remarkable life. From Hollywood High to the Accademia di Belle Arte in Rome to the Italian resistance during WWII to Leo Castelli’s gallery in New York, he’s worthy of a biopic. In the midst of it all, he helped transform American art. Lisa Melandri discusses the artist and his impact on visual culture. This event is free and open to the public.

Lisa Melandri, Director of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

Lisa Melandri, Director of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM) talks about her background, vision for the museum, and the ability of art to change lives.

Video interview by Jorie Jacobi of STL Curator.

Winter Opera L’elisir d’amore, is almost here!

Our final opera of the season,
L’elisir d’amore, is almost here!

The talented chorus members have been hard at work
preparing, and out of town artists arrive today with
rehearsals kicking off tomorrow.

L’elisir d’amore, Donizetti’s most performed opera, is a
comedic opera about the desperately in love, Nemorino
and the beautiful, wealthy landowner Adina. In an attempt to
win her affection, Nemorino buys a love potion from
a traveling salesman.

Will the elixir be enough to gain Adina’s love?
Or will someone else win Adina’s heart?

Join us March 9 & 11 as we watch this love story unfold!


Italian Film Festival USA – St Louis – April 6 thru April 28, 2018


The 2018 edition brings you the best line-up of recent Italian cinema with films from award-winning directors, as well as debut films from exciting new talent.

This is your chance to see the latest and best in Italian film.

We are in the process of finalizing our line-up; please check back on March 2 for film titles and times

Enjoy sixteen recent Italian films–captivating dramas, wonderful comedies, and interesting documentaries–and a short film program at one of 90+ screenings nationwide.Mailing List
If you would like to be added to our email list to be notified of the Italian Film Festival USA in your city, please send your email address and indicate the city of interest to us at: info@italianfilmfests.org



Thank You!
Sincere thanks to all festival sponsors for your ongoing support! If you would like to support the Italian Film Festival USA, please visit our Be A Sponsor page.







Italian vote abroad, “we want to vote but the cards do not arrive”

Delay in the delivery of ballot papers, worried compatriots: “We want to vote”. In Toronto, one in two Italians did not receive an electoral package at home. Reports from the entire North and Central America distribution

Elections closer and closer, while many Italians in the world are already voting. Many others, however, have not yet received the cards at home. From Toronto, a well-informed source tells ItaliaChiamaItalia that ” at least half of the voters have not yet received the electoral envelope”.

Many are those who, to date, have not yet received the material to exercise their right-duty to vote. Reports in this sense come to us from the US, Mexico, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic : they are compatriots who are afraid of not being able to vote and who ask us to help them in some way.

“We want to vote, but what if we do not get the cards?” A lady from the north of Mexico is unleashed.

In Panama, the Embassy announced that the mailing operation has ended, those who have not received it are asked to go to the embassy to pick up their own. Otherwise, no vote.

In the Dominican Republic the Embassy said that the distribution will last until Wednesday 21st, but many are already contacting the company Ups to agree on delivery of the package.

The electoral mechanism with which Italians vote in the world, is not a mystery, makes water on all sides. Even Matteo Salvini, the Northern League leader, is worried, given that – he says – “for the first time abroad we are present everywhere”, and then adds: ” we hope that the consulates do their job as they have not done in the past” .

Dependent only by the consulates, the difficulties would be minor. The trouble is that the system does not work or works badly. Even in this election bounce on the web news of ballots delivered to deceased persons, something that is repeated every time you vote abroad and that perhaps for this reason no longer makes news.

In any case there is still time to receive the package at home, the suggestion – if you have not yet done so – is to immediately contact your consulate reference or the company that deals with home delivery. Do not give up your vote.

Saint Louis

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