Union Avenue Opera Presents: Nabucco July 27th through August 4th


Friday, July 27, 2018 – 8:00 pm

Friday, July 27, 2018 – 8:00 pm 

Saturday, July 28, 2018 – 8:00 pm 

Saturday, July 28, 2018 – 8:00 pm

Friday, August 3, 2018 – 8:00 pm

Friday, August 3, 2018 – 8:00 pm 

Saturday, August 4, 2018 – 8:00 pm

Saturday, August 4, 2018 – 8:00 pm

Directed by Mark Freiman
Conducted by Stephen HargreavNabucco, King of Babylon, seizes control of Jerusalem in his war with the Israelites. Meanwhile, his daughter Fenena and her half-sister Abigaille are both in love with Ismaele, the nephew of the King of Jerusalem. War rages on between Babylon and Jerusalem. Abigaille, thinking to stop the warring once and for all, tells Ismaele that she will save his people if he vows to love her and not Fenena. When he denies her, Abigaille ruthlessly plans to take down the kingdom, claim Nabucco’s throne, and kill all the imprisoned Israelites.

 Not since Wagner’s Ring cycle has Union Avenue Opera presented a show with such epic splendor. Experience some Verdi’s grandest orchestral and choral music ever written, including the soul-stirring “Va, pensiero” chorus. 


Copyright © 2018  Union Avenue Opera

Please follow and like us:

Giada on her new cookbook ‘Giada’s Italy’

Celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis is a native of Rome and grew up in Southern California. The granddaughter of famed film producer Dino De Laurentiis, she learned to cook in her family’s kitchens and in her grandfather’s restaurant.

She graduated from UCLA with a degree in social anthropology and later attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris with hopes of becoming a pastry chef. After returning to the United States, she worked in several Los Angeles-area restaurants, including Spago. Work as a food stylist led to shows and other appearances on Food Network, for which she has become most widely known. Her first restaurant, Giada, opened at The Cromwell in 2014; her second spot, the fast-casual Pronto, opened at Caesars Palace early this year. She has published nine cookbooks, including “Giada’s Italy,” released in March (Clarkson Potter; $35).

Las Vegas Review-Journal: In your new cookbook, you talk about “the pleasure that Italian home cooks take in every aspect of preparing meals,” which sounds a lot like a cross between the slow-food and farm-to-table movements in America, although a more pure version of both. Would you agree with that, and what can Americans learn from Italians’ enjoyment of meal prep?

De Laurentiis: Yes, definitely. In “Giada’s Italy,” I talk a lot about “la dolce vita,” which is about embracing life and enjoying each moment. In Italy, no one is in a rush like we are in America and with cooking, it’s more than just preparing a meal — it’s about taking pleasure in cooking for those you love, and slowing down to embrace every moment.

What do you think Americans like so much about your interpretations of classic dishes?

I put a California twist on Italian dishes, so my dishes are usually lighter and fresher, but still very Italian. I also simplify the recipes and include ingredients that are easy to find. It shouldn’t be hard to make a great meal!

Always in your fridge at home?

Dark chocolate, Fuji apples, fennel, arugula, Parmigiano reggiano and usually a leftover pasta dish.

Currently obsessed with?

Shakeratos (espresso shaken with ice) … and Cardi B!

Newest Las Vegas discovery?

I recently took (daughter) Jade on a helicopter ride over the Strip for her birthday and it was SO fun. We’re going to do another ride over the Grand Canyon next month. Definitely my new favorite way to see Las Vegas and other parts of Nevada!

Favorite indulgence?

A sailboat trip to the Sicilian Islands.

I never eat …

Coconut or kombucha

Favorite brunch at home?

Refrigerator frittata if it’s just me and Jade. When friends drop by, the Smoked Scamorza, Spinach and Pancetta Pizza from my new book. It’s topped with a sunny-side-up egg and always a crowd pleaser. My peach, corn and burrata salad is also simple to throw together and so delicious.

Best tip for home cooks?

Always start by reading a recipe all the way through so you make sure you have all the ingredients, equipment and time you need. And taste. Every step of the way, taste. That is the best and only way to make sure everything is seasoned properly.

Have you been working on any other Las Vegas projects?

Not yet. I’m tackling Baltimore first. But things are always changing in the Vegas world.

Smoked Scamorza, Spinach and Pancetta Pizza

1 (16-ounce) ball of store-bought pizza dough

4 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, chopped

5 ounces baby spinach, chopped

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, for dusting

1/2 pound smoked scamorza or smoked mozzarella cheese, grated

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

4 large eggs, at room temperature

Place the pizza dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a towel and allow it to rest in a warm place for one hour.

Position one rack in the highest position of the oven and remove the others. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Place the pancetta in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until crispy, about eight minutes. Drain off half of the fat. Add the spinach to the hot pan, turn off the heat and stir until the spinach is wilted. Set aside.

Dust a rimmed baking sheet that has been flipped upside down with the flour. Gently stretch the pizza dough into a round and place it on the flour-dusted baking sheet. Continue to stretch out to a 1/4-inch thickness, leaving it a little thicker around the edges. Sprinkle the dough with half of the cheese. Spoon the spinach mixture over the cheese layer and top with the remaining cheese. Place the baking sheet directly on the floor of the oven and bake for five minutes, then move the sheet to the top shelf and finish cooking for an additional five minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

When you move the pizza to the top rack, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Crack the four eggs into the skillet and cook them until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny, about three minutes. Slide the eggs onto the pizza and serve.

Italian Chicken and Rice

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter

1 pound chicken tenders

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 large red onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled

1 cup basmati rice

1/2 teaspoon Calabrian chile paste

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth

2 fresh sage sprigs

3 fresh thyme sprigs

1 (2-inch) piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano rind

3/4 cup frozen peas

Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

Extra-virgin olive oil, to finish

Heat a medium straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Melt the butter until the bubbles subside. Season the chicken tenders evenly on both sides with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Add the chicken tenders to the pan in one layer. Cook the chicken for about four minutes per side, or until golden brown. (They don’t need to be cooked through at this stage; they will cook further with the rice.) Transfer the chicken to a plate and set it aside.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and garlic to the pan, along with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are softened and beginning to caramelize, about four minutes. Add the rice and chile paste and cook, stirring frequently, for an additional two minutes to toast the rice. Add the milk, chicken broth, sage, thyme and cheese rind, and stir to combine.

Return the chicken tenders and their juices to the pan, nestling the chicken down into the rice. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and sprinkle the peas on top. Replace the cover and allow the mixture to steam for an additional 12 minutes off the heat. Remove the herbs and rind from the pan and discard. Fluff the rice with a fork. Serve with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

Italian Carrot Salad

1/3 cup limoncello

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 1/2 pounds large carrots, peeled

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 ounces soft goat cheese

In a small saucepan, gently warm the limoncello over medium heat until steam begins to come off the top. It should be hot to the touch but not simmering. Remove from the heat, add the dried cranberries and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the cranberries to soak for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour. Drain and set aside.

Using the large holes on a box grater, grate the carrots into a medium bowl. Season the carrots with the salt and toss well. Add the soaked cranberries, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil and toss again to combine. Crumble the goat cheese over the top and serve.

Recipes from “Giada’s Italy”

Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at Hrinella@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0474. Follow @HKRinella on Twitter.

Please follow and like us:

The Hill Car Show and Soap Box Derby June 10th, 2018

“Our Roaring 20th!!” Mark your calendars for Sunday, June 10th for The 20th Annual Hill Car Show and Soap Box Derby. Once again this year’s show will be at the Shaw VPA Elementary School (5329 Columbia, St. Louis, MO 63110) and the kids will again race the soap box derby cars down Macklind Avenue. The event is hosted by Auto Art Collision & Restoration Center, Southwest Auto Parts and the St. Louis Jaycees.

Please follow and like us:

A Short Film Offers a Private Look Into the Life of an Italian Architect and Design Enigma

A close-up of Mollino-designed chairs in his Teatro Regio.

A closeup of Mollino-designed chairs in his Teatro Regio.Photo: Courtesy of Oscar Humphries

Though he was one of Italy’s most influential mid-20th-century architects and interior designers, very little is known about the inner world of Turinese legend Carlo Mollino. Born in 1905 in the northern Italian city of Turin, Mollino became a figure of fascination for design enthusiasts worldwide, many of whom were transfixed by his hidden private life and ability to create dreamy, sensuous spaces inspired by his various obsessions—which ranged from the voluptuousness of the female form to symbols and talismans of witchcraft and the occult. At a time when the style of the day was, for the most part, defined by a movement known as Rationalism (led by fellow design giants like Gio Ponti and the Castiglioni brothers, who looked to architecture primarily as a self-effacing entity, created more for streamlined functionality than for decoration), Mollino’s work was particularly unique, overtly romantic, and a far cry from the goings-on in Milan.

Carlo Mollino’s RAI Auditorium, built in 1952.

Carlo Mollino’s RAI Auditorium, built in 1952. Photo: Courtesy of Oscar Humphries

After graduating from college, where he studied engineering, architecture, and art history, Mollino began working for his father’s architecture firm. There, he entered several design competitions and won for projects like the Agricultural Federation in Cuneo, Italy, and the Turin Equestrian Association headquarters, both of which, for buildings intended for public use, were unusually artsy and illustrated his predilection for sloping forms and circular spaces. After Mollino left his father’s firm, he spent the rest of his life picking and choosing his own projects, many of them commissions for private homes that were hidden from public view. His most famous work, the grand Teatro Regio in Turin, an opera house, is one of his only buildings still standing today.

As Mollino’s oeuvre has grown in appreciation over the years, the scarcity of what is available to view and acquire has only added fuel to the fire. In 2005, a Mollino table earned a record-high sale for 20th-century furniture at Christie’s, going for $3.8 million. “Its great appeal is the immediately seductive look,” a former director at Christie’s, Philippe Garner, told The New York Times in a 2009 interview. “The fact that virtually every piece can be traced to a specific commission and that production was very limited add the appeal of rarity.”

 The chairs in Carlo Mollino’s RAI Auditorium.

The chairs in Carlo Mollino’s RAI Auditorium.Photo: Courtesy of Oscar Humphries

It was only until Mollino expert and curator Fulvio Ferrari and his son Napoleone discovered and restored an apartment Mollino had been secretly working on did the doors to the architect’s world open. A social recluse for most of his life, Mollino spent years creating and decorating a home for himself on the River Po in which to live out his later days. Inside, both his dark strangeness and genius were revealed: Rooms immaculately decorated, strange voodoo imagery hung on walls and ceilings, and hundreds of erotic Polaroids taken of women who modeled for him were found. Obsessed by the Ancient Egyptian mummification process and beliefs, Mollino also created a wooden boat-like bed that served as a symbolic vessel of passage into the afterlife, placed in a room prepared meticulously for his death. Though he never actually lived in this apartment, it spoke most aptly to his deep love of all things beautiful, revealing how carefully he tried to construct the world around him. It is within this space—now known as the Museo Casa Mollino, a highlight for visitors to Turin—that Mollino has been brought back to life.

In a beautiful new short film—directed by Felipe Sanguinetti, produced by Oscar Humphries, narrated by Fulvio Ferrari, and given exclusively to Vogue—we are offered visits to Mollino’s Teatro Regio and Casa Mollino. It provides private insights into Mollino’s mind and how he saw the world. Shot from around corners and through half-opened doors, the visual narrative is atmospheric in its secrecy, just as one would imagine for spaces of Mollino’s. His presence is palpable and, in many ways, evidently vulnerable in the navigation of the camera’s lens: As viewers, we get the distinct impression that we are walking side by side with Mollino himself, reseeing the spaces so close to his heart.

The completed Teatro Regio, 1973.

The completed Teatro Regio, 1973.Photo: Courtesy of Oscar Humphries

“Mollino is so famous for the Polaroids he took and his iconic pieces of design, that as an architect he’s often overlooked,” said Humphries, who shot the film with friend Sanguinetti in June. “But he was an architect first, and we wanted to show that.”

Of the film’s humanized perspective, Sanguinetti noted: “I wanted to share what I felt in these two spaces. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before, and what Mollino brings out in people is such a unique and emotional response to his work. I hope the spectator, when watching the film, can feel that.”

n watching the film, can feel that.”

Please follow and like us:

Authentic Italian: The Real Story of Italy’s Food and Its People

Paperback – March 19, 2018
by Dina M. Di Maio (Author


Pizza. Spaghetti and meatballs. Are these beloved foods Italian or American? Italy declares pizza from Naples the only true pizza, but what about New York, New Haven, and Chicago pizza? The media says spaghetti and meatballs isn’t found in Italy, but it exists around the globe. Worldwide, people regard pizza and spaghetti and meatballs as Italian. Why? Because the Italian immigrants to the United States brought their foodways with them 100 years ago and created successful food-related businesses. But a new message is emerging–that the only real Italian food comes from the contemporary Italian mainland. However, this ideology negatively affects Italian Americans, who still face discrimination that pervades the culture–from movies and TV to religion, academia, the workplace, and every aspect of their existence. In Authentic Italian, Italian-American food writer Dina M. Di Maio explores the history and food contributions of Italian immigrants in the United States and beyond. With thorough research and evidence, Di Maio proves the classic dishes like pizza and spaghetti and meatballs so beloved by the world are, indeed, Italian. Much more than a food history, Authentic Italian packs a sociopolitical punch and shows that the Italian-American people made Italian food what it is today. They and their food are real, true, and authentic Italian.

Click here to buy this book

Please follow and like us:

Tickets for Cards vs Cubs July 29th Italian Heritage Night $40

Tickets are $40 each and include the t-shirt.
Select your size below and click add to cart.
You can add additional tickets once you have added to cart.

Notre Dame professors and students embody iconic ‘Ribelli e Rivoluzionari’ of Italy

 | Monday, April 16, 2018Catherine Barra

This past Friday, the faculty and students of Notre Dame’s Department of Romance Languages and Literature came together in DeBartolo Performing Art Center’s Leighton Concert Hall to perform a wide variety of fantastic Italian music for a sold-out crowd.

As part of Romance Languages International Week 2018, Professor Lesley Marcantonio’s “Intermediate Italian II: Language Through Lyrics” class organized the concert to celebrate Italian music. This year’s theme was “Ribelli e Rivoluzionari: The Role of the Artist in Italy.”

The event recognized artists such as Mina, Jovanotti and Lucio Dalla, who represented the voices of Italy’s people during times of social unrest. The songs came from a wide range of time periods and genres, from the 1940s to the 2000s, and pop, folk, rock and romantic music.

Returning performers included singers Anne Leone, Lesley Marcantonio and Patrick Vivirito, who were accompanied by musicians Joseph Rosenberg, Anthony Monta, Patrick Falvey and JJ. Wright. Talented new singers, junior Colin McCarthy and sophomore Veronica Perez, joined the line-up this year. A screen behind the performers projected the lyrics of the songs in Italian so that the audience could sing along, contributing to the warm and inviting atmosphere.

Some of the performances were introduced by Notre Dame faculty members, who shared personal stories associated with each song. Italian Professor Alessia Blad’s introduction to “Bella ciao” discussed her grandfather’s involvement in the fight against Mussolini’s fascist regime. These monologues added a personal touch to the songs, which further enforced the importance of music’s role in learning about other cultures.

As any student of Italian language and culture will tell you, Mina forms an essential part of the Italian musical canon. A dominant figure in Italian pop music from the 1960s to the mid-1970s, Mina is one of Italy’s most beloved artists. One of the best performances of the night was Leone’s rendition of Mina’s “Insieme.” Professor Christian Moevs introduced her as “Notre Dame’s own Mina,” and he was telling the truth. Leone sold the emotion of the love ballad perfectly, proving to be an Italian diva in her own right.

Perez and Vivirito expertly brought an upbeat duet to the concert repertoire with Jovanotti’s “Ti sposerò.”

Marcantonio and the special guests of the night, the adorable second graders of South Bend’s Darden Primary Center, sang a classic Italian children’s song, “Il coccodrillo come fa.” The singer led the kids through a song describing the various sounds different animals make as they danced on stage with a crocodile. The performance had the audience laughing, clapping and singing along. Together, this group proved the old adage that music is a universal language.

The concert was also an opportunity for the musicians to show off their talent. “Piccolo uomo,” a rock ballad sung by Leone, included an epic guitar solo from Rosenberg. Marcantonio declared Rosenberg a “gentle PLS professor by day, and shredding guitar player by night.” After his solo, no one could deny it.

It was Moevs who best summed up the reasons for coming to see this amazing concert, and for returning every year: “Keep singing Italian songs and you’ll be bilingual, you’ll be Italian, you’ll know Italy. And you’ll have fun.” The annual concert is a must see for those interested in learning more about different cultures and discovering the wonderful talent of our Notre Dame family. “Bravissimi!”


Please follow and like us:

Italian far right wants to turn Fascist HQ into mega-museum

The Lega party—which may soon be in power—believes that Italy, through its culture, can lead the world


The Casa del Fascio was conceived as a symbol of the regime
The Casa del Fascio was conceived as a symbol of the regime CLAUDIO DIVIZIA

Italy’s far-right Lega party, which won almost 18% of the vote in the general election on 4 March and could form part of the next coalition government, wants to turn a former Fascist party headquarters in Como, in the Lombardy region, into northern Italy’s biggest museum of Modern art, architecture and design. The surprising pledge appears in the anti-immigration, Eurosceptic manifesto of Lega’s leader, Matteo Salvini, who has transformed the former northern separatists into Italy’s leading right-wing party.

Culture was largely sidelined in an election campaign dominated by the European migration crisis. Yet Lega’s manifesto, entitled Salvini Premier, devotes three pages to a section called “cultural heritage and Italian identity”, which champions culture as “the strategic asset of our country” and “the industry that can guarantee us primacy compared with the rest of the world”.

Among its proposals are a centralised marketing department to drive cultural tourism in tandem with regional authorities and the 30 major state museums, which, in 2015 and 2016, gained autonomy under the ousted centre-left Democratic party government. (The reforming culture minister, Dario Franceschini, lost his parliamentary seat in the election.)

Blasting Italian museums as disorganised and digitally challenged, Lega suggests consolidating non-state institutions and decentralising the national network. It is also seeking to boost the art trade by lowering VAT on art purchases and relaxing “excessive public control” over antiquities markets.

The last, and most eye-catching, of the party’s “medium-term” cultural initiatives is: “The creation of the largest museum of Modern art, architecture and design in northern Italy, in Palazzo Terragni and the adjacent buildings.” The classically inspired cuboid structure, designed by the leading rationalist architect Giuseppe Terragni, was commissioned by Benito Mussolini’s National Fascist Party in 1932 and completed in 1936 as a Casa del Fascio, one of around 5,000 local Fascist headquarters constructed across Italy.

Casa del Fascio was conceived as a symbol of the regime. The front courtyard and the atrium were planned to accommodate large crowds at fascist rallies. Terragni worked with the artists Marcello Nizzoli and Mario Radice on decorations including a giant photomontage portrait of Mussolini for the façade—part of a series rejected by the party as insufficiently celebratory—and a marble figure of Il Duce in the conference room.

Repurposed after the Second World War, the building has housed a branch of Italy’s financial police (Guardia di Finanza) since the 1950s, and public access is restricted. For years, there has been talk of turning it into a museum. In February, the city of Como took the first step, signing an agreement with Attilio Terragni, the architect’s grandson and president of the Terragni archive, to open the monument to tourists and potentially apply for Unesco World Heritage status.

Lega did not respond to our queries about the proposed museum, and its manifesto does not include details of what would actually go on display there. But the fraught election campaign has sparked debate and protests over a revival of Italy’s far right. Salvini made headlines in January for saying in a radio interview that Mussolini had “done many things” for Italy, such as draining the marshlands and introducing pensions. He added that he “prefers democracy” and “hates dictatorships of any kind”. In late February, the neo-fascist group CasaPound threw its support behind Lega.

With no majority winner in the election, Lega was due to enter coalition talks led by the president of the republic, Sergio Mattarella, as we went to press. Salvini has reasserted his claim to lead a centre-right government with Lega’s senior ally during the campaign, Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, which trailed with almost 14% of the vote. He has also mooted the idea of a previously unthinkable deal with the anti-establishment Movimento 5 Stelle party, which won the largest share of the vote, with 32%.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper300 April 2018

Please follow and like us: