Order of the Sons of Italy to present a concert at Casa D’Italia during Italian Week
Order of the Sons of Italy – The Musical Corps of the Order of the Sons of Italy (OFI) will be presenting a lively concert at the Casa D’Italia on Aug. 8th in conjunction with the 25th Anniversary of Italian Week. “Potpourri D’Estate” will feature a diverse musical repertoire in Italian and English. The program will include selections from the opera comedy “Il Barbiere Di Siviglia” (The Barber of Seville) by Gioachino Rossini and songs from the beloved movie “The Sound of Music”. It will also mark another milestone, the 150th anniversary of the death of Rossini, a prolific nineteenth-century composer known as the “Italian Mozart” who wrote 39 operas, chamber music, and sacred music.
The OFI’s musical corps is not short on talent. With 38 professional musicians conducted by Maestro Ron Di Lauro assisted by Antonio Bernabei, this promises to be a truly memorable event. Di Lauro, a Montreal trumpet-player, is one of the best-known musicians in Quebec and has played with many of the great performers of our time including Gino Vannelli, Celine Dion, Tony Bennett, Aretha Franklin, and Oliver Jones. A music professor at Université de Montréal and lecturer at McGill University Di Lauro won the Montreal Jazz Festival’s prestigious Oscar Peterson Prize in 2014 for his contribution to jazz music in Canada. He is also the grandson of Nicola Di Lauro an original band member of the Corpo Musicale dell’Ordine Figli d’Italia formed in the early 1930’s but later disbanded in1940, a legacy that has inspired him to bring traditional Italian music to a wide audience of music aficionados.
This year the OFI and the Casa are partnering with the National Congress of Italian Canadians/ Quebec Region to host the musical celebration. One of the highlights of the occasion will be the presentation of three music bursaries to deserving post-secondary students to help them with their music studies. However, the identities of the lucky recipients won’t be revealed until the awards ceremony takes place keeping young hopeful musicians on the edge of their seats. “It’s a surprise,” says Giuseppe Fratino President of the OFI. Fratino who has been at the helm of the OFI for the last 7 years has also put in a considerable stretch of time on the board at the Casa D’Italia in years past. “We’re trying to help the Casa in its events, expositions,” he says matter-of-factly while extolling the virtues of working together for the benefit of the community.
The OFI is the oldest Italian organization in Montreal and has a long-standing relationship with the Casa D’Italia an Italian cultural center located in the stunning 20th century Art Deco building on Jean Talon West near Saint-Laurent Boulevard in the heart of the multicultural neighborhood known as “Little Italy” so named because its Italian roots date back to the 1880’s when the first wave of Italian immigrants arrived in Montreal. The Casa which participated in the S.O.S. Italia campaign to help earthquake victims in Italy is creating a Wall of Memory to commemorate the first wave of Italian immigrants who came to Canada from 1880 until the First World War and a few plaques have already been placed on it. “This is about the generation that sacrificed the most,” says Marisa Celli, Director of the Casa D’Italia. “They came here with nothing wanting a better life for their children. They helped build the Casa and the city.”
As the saying goes: music is a language we all understand.
Aug. 8, 2018, 8 pm
Salle des Célébrations, Casa D’Ìtalia
505 rue Jean-Talon Est
Tickets: (514) 271-2281