NOW 96.3 All The Hits Radio and Festa Italiana



The radio station NOW 96.3 will be at Festa Italiana on October 1, 2017

Now 96.3 will be onsite with their street team, tent and station vehicle, so make sure to stop by and register to win prizes.

During the Columbus Parade the Station Vehicle will be at the corner of Marconi and Bischoff at Harry Berra’s Fairmont Inspecton Station on the Hill.

There will also be food and drinks available while you enjoy watching the parade.  After the parade make sure you meet the NOW 96.3 Street Team at their tent at Berra Park.


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Borgia Infami: An opera in English in two acts by Harold Blumenfeld (world premiere)

Produced by Winter Opera Saint Louis – (Two dates available)
September 30, 2017 – 7:30pm
Edison Theatre

Two Performances:
Saturday, September 30 – 7:30 P.M.
Sunday, October 1 – 3:00 P.M. 


Edison Box Office  – (314) 935-6543

Adult: $25
Senior, WU Fac/Staff: $20
Students and Youth: $10
Wash U students free (limit one per ID)

Scott Schoonover – Conductor
Lindsey Anderson, soprano as Lucrezia Borgia
Jacob Lassetter, baritone as Rodrigo Borgia
Andrew Potter, bass as Cesare Borgia
John Kanklides, tenor as Narcisio

Composer: Harold Blumenfeld
Librettist: Charles Kondek

Borgia Infami depicts the lives, loves and crimes of the notorious Borgia family. The opera focuses upon Rodrigo, who becomes the brilliant and corrupt Pope Alexander VI; his son Cesare, whose ruthless pursuit of power is immortalized in Machiavelli’s writings; and, finally, Lucrezia, the Duchess of Ferrara, Rodrigo’s beautiful daughter, and alleged poisoner of the family’s enemies. The action unfolds on dual levels, alternating historical fact with Victor Hugo’s hyper melodramatic portrayal of Lucrezia. She has given birth to an illegitimate son, a product of suspected incest, inside the Vatican walls. After being separated at birth, the boy matures into a virtuous young officer driven by two passions: to find his lost mother and a burning hatred for the Borgias. All the while, Lucrezia has lovingly watched over him from a distance, writing him anonymously. However, unwittingly she comes to poison him and his Borgia-hostile comrades. Out of shock and desperation she mortally stabs herself and, as she perishes, reveals her true identity to her son. After perishing together, her crimes are absolved through her selfless maternal devotion. Ingeniously, the librettist has connected all of this to the present.

Borgia Infami is a singers’ opera with arias emerging into duets, trios, and a sextet. This opera features violence, mayhem, and death. The auto da fe of Savonarola is presented, along with a scene of inebriation interrupted by the death chant of approaching monks, scenes of impassioned filial love, and street urchins for comic relief. In addition to the various scenes of overflowing emotion there are moments of wistful simplicity such as Lucrezia in her convent, with a Bingen-like women’s chant in the background. The opera opens to a scene featuring a vast fresco of the coronation of Rodrigo Borgia as Pope coming alive to commence the opera.

Harold Blumenfeld Biography:
Born Oct. 15, 1923, in Seattle, Harold Blumenfeld studied at the Eastman School of Music from 1941-43. During World War II, he served as an interpreter in the U.S. Army Signal Corp, and was present at the liberation of Ohrdruf, the first Nazi concentration camp liberated by U.S. troops.

Blumenfeld remained in Europe after the war, deploying his language skills to help identify former members of the Nazi Party. He then resumed his studies at the University of Zurich and at Yale University, earning both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Yale, in 1948 and 1949 respectively. Over the next four summers, he trained as a conductor with Robert Shaw and Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood, summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
In 1950, Blumenfeld joined the faculty of Washington University, where he taught until his retirement in 1989. From 1960-71, he directed the Washington University Opera Studio and, from 1962-66, also directed Opera Theatre of St. Louis. An active music critic, he regularly wrote for the St. Louis Post-DispatchOpera News and other publications.
Blumenfeld’s own compositions include Fourscore: An Opera of Opposites (1986) and Breakfast Waltzes (1991), both with librettist Charles Kondek, as well as vocal settings of works by Harold Hart Crane, Derek Walcott, Charles Baudelaire, Paul Verlaine, Rainer Maria Rilke and Osip Mandelstam.
Blumenfeld was the first composer to devote extensive attention to the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud, beginning with a setting of “Being Beauteous” (c. 1980) and culminating in the two-act opera Seasons in Hell (1996), which traces Rimbaud’s adolescent adventures and disastrous fortune-seeking in Africa.
In 2001, Blumenfeld and Kondek completed Borgia Infami, an opera based on the notorious Renaissance family. In 2007, Blumenfeld recorded Vers Sataniques, based on Baudelaire’s “Flowers of Evil,” with the National Radio Orchestra of Poland.
Charles Kondek Biography:
The Chicago Tribune in its review of The Fan, an opera commissioned and produced by the Lyric Opera of Chicago, written by librettist Charles Kondek, called Mr. Kondek “a shrewd man of theater.” Charles Kondek is the recipient of the prestigious Marc Blitzstein Memorial Award in Music Theatre presented by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In addition to Borgia Infami, his collaborations with composer Harold Blumenfeld include the farcical ensemble opera Fourscore, the opera-bagatelle Breakfast Waltzes, and the Seasons in Hell, whose libretto was described by the American Record Guide as “an ingenious display of literary virtuosity.” The Cincinnati Enquirer called the opera “a fascinating coming-together of words, music and imagery.”
New York Magazine proclaimed Esther, written with the Hugo Weisgall and premiered by the New York City Opera, “a work that can now be placed among the very finest operas we have,” and Time Magazine termed Esther “a powerful evening of music theatre.” Martin Bernheimer of the Los Angeles Times suggested the work “may be a masterpiece.”
Kondek also wrote the libretto for Between Two Worlds, with music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Shulamit Ran, commissioned and produced by the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Kondek and Ran are finishing up a new version of The Diary of Anne Frank, which will premiere in 2020 at Indiana University.
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Italians in St Louis Lunch Oct. 14 at Italia-America Bocce Club

Saturday, October 14 | 12pm | Italia-America Bocce Club, 2210 Marconi Ave.
$25 per person; $20 for MHM members | Reservations: or (314) 361-9017*
Indulge in a culinary tour of Italy with a four-course Italian meal featuring dishes from the various Italian regions represented in St. Louis. Jeanne Florini, professor of the Dietetic
Technology program at St. Louis Community College–Florissant Valley, will explain the cultural and environmental influences on the foods of the regions.
*Register through October 2.

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Opinion: Italy’s economy could soar with a parallel currency

Under the euro, Italy hasn’t been able to grow for nearly two decades

Joerg Mitter /Global-Newsroom via Getty Images
The Vespa is an iconic Italian product, but did you know it could soar like this?


There have been some amazing Italian inventions over the centuries. The newspaper. The pistol. The radio. The stock exchange. The motorway. And who could overlook those staples of modern life, jeans (originally from the French word for Genoa: genes) or the pizzeria.

Few other countries have contributed quite as much to creating the world we live in.

Right now, Italy could be on the brink of another major innovation. A parallel currency to run alongside the euro EURUSD, -0.0847%  . It already had the backing of the former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and the parties supporting it are steadily gaining ground in the polls.

Could it work? The mainstream economic establishment will no doubt heap scorn on the idea. And yet, in reality, a parallel currency could provide an elegant exit from the euro, maintaining some of the advantages of the single currency, while freeing the country from endless recession. If it ever gets off the ground, Italy could quickly become one of the most attractive economies in the world.

It is hard to find any words to describe Italy’s experiment with merging its currency with Germany, France and the rest of the eurozone other than “dismal failure.” Since it adopted the euro, Italy’s average annual growth rate has been zero, according to calculations by the Bruegel Institute. You read that correctly. Absolutely nothing, over almost two decades.

By comparison, Spain has managed 1.08%, France 0.84% and Germany 1.25%.

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Italy’s unemployment rate is a crippling 11%, the highest of Europe’s three biggest economies, and youth unemployment is a scary 35%. The national debt has climbed to a giddy 133% of gross domestic product, not because the government is especially extravagant, but because that’s what happens in a zero-growth economy.

Its banking system is close to collapse, and poverty rates are soaring. It would be hard to find a more damning record.

Sure, Italy’s economy is looking slightly better this year. Growth has ticked up towards 1% this year, and the stock market has jumped on the prospect. But a single percentage point after years of recession, and with the help of more than €2 trillion of printed money from the European Central Bank, is hardly anything to celebrate. The long term outlook remains grim.

In the background, Italy is starting to have a fascinating debate, not about exiting the euro, but about introducing a parallel currency alongside it.

Its main proponent is former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who, despite almost as many setbacks as Donald Trump, keeps bouncing back. In an interview with Libero Quotidiano, he argued for a parallel currency to run alongside the euro, which, in his view, would be entirely consistent with the existing EU and eurozone treaties. Companies and consumers, and of course the government, could then choose which currency they wanted to do business in.

As Berlusconi points out, it is not very far from the Lega Nord’s idea of a mini currency within a currency, which would then be used to pay government bills, welfare checks, and so on. Put Berlusconi’s center-right party and the Lega Nord together, and, according to the polls, they account for 30% of the vote. With the 5-Star Movement also hostile to the euro, it is far from impossible that Italy could try out a new kind of currency in the next few years.

Italy is not the first country to toy with the idea. Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis floated the idea for his country to run a separate currency alongside the euro back in 2015.

But could it actually work in practice? Most economists would probably argue that it couldn’t. No one would want to accept the new notes and coins. There would be no one to trade it, and its value would sink like a stone, making it even less attractive. There would be no central bank to manage it, and banks might not even be willing to accept deposits in the new unit. It could well become an irrelevance very quickly.

Those are all valid objections. And yet is far from a ridiculous idea. If it were backed by the government, it would have immediate presence and credibility —since the Italian state accounts for about 40% of GDP, close on half the economy would be operating on the new currency unit on Day One.

Assuming it devalued sharply against the euro, and assuming that most wages were paid in the new unit, there would be an immediate competitive devaluation against the rest of the eurozone. Prices would probably be set in both currencies, as they are in border regions, creating a round of inflation in the new currency. But very quickly that might settle down. The devaluation would restore competitiveness, and get the economy growing again.

Big companies might still use the euro internally, and so might the financial markets. But it might well gradually fade out of everyday Italian life.

Italy does not have to be a dog of an economy. From 1961 to 1980, its economy grew at an average rate of 4.16%, slightly behind Spain and significantly faster than France or Germany. The world likes Italian stuff — not just pasta and ice cream (although those are pretty good) but in design, technology, media and the arts, it has often been a world leader.

In reality, it has been held back for the last 17 years by a decision to switch to a German-dominated currency for which it was not prepared and to which it has never successfully adapted. Once that decision was made, it was hard to find a reverse gear. Hard but not impossible.

A parallel currency would be an ingenious escape route. It may or may not happen — and you certainly wouldn’t bet a lot of parallel lira on it happening any time soon. But if it did, Italy’s pent-up dynamism could be unleashed very quickly — and at the first sign of the currency being actually launched, smart investors should be buying as quickly as they can.

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Fulbright – Fondazione Falcone – NIAF Program

Giovanni Falcone
Giovanni Falcone





The National Italian American Foundation

(NIAF), Fondazione Falcone and Fulbright, are pleased to announce the Fulbright Fondazione Falcone-NIAF Scholarship in Criminology. Starting in August 2017, one American student and one Italian student will receive funding to carry out research in criminology. The American student will work with the “Fondazione Giovanni e Francesca Falcone” in Palermo, Sicily and the Italian student will conduct research at a prestigious university in the United States. This award aims to promote the exchange of the values of the rule of law and legality among young people and to combat the presence of the mafia culture in today’s society.

The ideal candidate for this award is a student with future plans for an academic/professional career in the field of Law and Criminology as well as a special interest in relevant issues related to Sicily and the promotion of the rule of law. Candidates with projects involving interdisciplinary studies related to Criminology, such as Law, Economics, Sociology, Education, Anthropology, are encouraged to submit an application. Preference will be given to graduate students.

Recipients of the award can choose to carry out research for a period of six to nine months beginning in August of 2017. The amount of the award will depend on the length of the participant’s stay. The American award recipient will be required to be in Italy in May 2018 after their time conducting research with the “Fondazione Giovanni e Francesca Falcone” and to participate in the event organized by the Fondazione. The event will be held in Palermo on May 23rd 2018 commemorating the anniversary of the death of Judge Giovanni Falcone.

Application Deadlines for the 2018-2019 Academic Year

  • Deadline for American Applicants: October 6, 2017
    For more information about the application process for American students, please CLICK HERE.
  • Deadline for Italian Applicants: February 16th, 2018
    For more information about the application process for American students, please CLICK HERE.
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Jamie Kennedy – So you want to be Italian?

2017/08/23 – Written by Mark Curtis
Jamie Kennedy, credit Jo Dickina
Jamie Kennedy, credit Jo Dickina
Inspired by the Slow Food movement founded in Italy in 1986, Chef Jamie Kennedy has for many years been a passionate advocate of local foods and local food economies. Kennedy was one of Toronto’s most acclaimed chefs from the 1980s to 2015, when he closed his Gilead Café and Wine Bar and moved to his 115-acre farm in Prince Edward County.

That’s where he and a dedicated team present a weekly Saturday dinner event from spring to early fall, featuring local foods and wines. In addition, the 60-year-old chef is a consultant for the Niagara Falls restaurant Windows by Jamie Kennedy Fresh Grill and Wine Bar and he also teaches at Durham College.

Panoram Italia: When did you first become enamoured of Italian culture and why?

Jamie Kennedy: In Toronto in the late 1970s when I experienced a restaurant called Biffi, on Mount Pleasant. It was my first introduction to an Italian experience that felt more Italian than going to a pizzeria. I remember the service being bustling and friendly. It felt Italian and genuine. The ingredients were simple, but excellent. Olive oil was featured, and Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh pasta and beautiful grilled fish with just lemon and olive oil. It wasn’t fancy; it was just ingredient-driven, simply prepared, served in this wonderful ambience and it was just a thrill. And then I went to Italy soon after. I was staying in Paris and my girlfriend and I decided to take a trip to Venice. I felt I was being embraced in this other culture that was very food focused. Wine and food together was an important part of the day. It was a wonderful, eye-opening cultural experience.

PI: What was your favourite experience when you visited Italy?

JK: I was hosted by the Einaudi winemaking family in 2004, (when Kennedy travelled to Torino and the surrounding Piemonte region as a delegate of Slow Food’s Terre Madre conference). That was part of Carlo Petrini’s (the founder of Slow Food) vision as well – to introduce delegates to Italian life. The Einaudis were based in the little town of Dogliani and they produced a Dolcetto – a grape variety indigenous to the area – and they produced a beautiful Barolo they were famous for. Beautiful wines, beautiful storytelling, beautiful food – that same Italian tradition of simple dishes done very well, served with local cheeses, charcuterie, olive oil, red wine and some pasta. It’s just a very natural food existence Italians have.

PI: Any favourite Italian foods?

JK: I love rich things. Gorgonzola is so delicious. Of course, Parmigiano Reggiano. I love the dry goat’s milk and sheep’s milk cheeses and olive oil.

PI: Complete this statement: “Italy is …”

JK: Italy is a land of wine and food. Each province in Italy has its own wine appellation. Food culture is very important.

PI: What are elements of Italian culture that you really like?

JK: Fashion and design in general. I have a lot of respect for industrial designers like Alessi. I love the joie de vivre that Italian people have and probably even more so those who are involved in the food industry,primarily chefs. I don’t have any Italian roots myself, but I think as a part of our Canadian cultural mix, we can’t help but be affected by what the Italian people have contributed to our culture in areas such as design, fashion and engineering.

PI: What is one Italian-made product that you own?

JK: I have a stovetop espresso maker from Alessi. It’s genius how it’s put together. I don’t think any other country would come up with such a great idea. I’ve worked with Italian machinery like pasta makers and ice cream machines for many years. The precision and the integrity and their long-lasting quality are things I admire.

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