Oct 07 2015 Posted: 11:01 IST

As part of the worldwide celebration of the Italian language, NUI Galway will mark Settimana della lingua italiana nel mondo (Week of the Italian Language in the World) with a talk focusing on Italian music. ‘The Culture of Italian Music: Opera and Colonialism’ will take place on Thursday, 29 October from 6-8pm in the Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway.

The theme of this year’s events is “L’italiano della musica, la musica dell’italiano” (The Italian of music, the music of Italian), with special emphasis on the educational role of music.

Professor Paolo Bartoloni, Head of Italian at NUI Galway, said: “This year’s theme is particularly significant and engaging. Italian music, and the Italian operatic tradition is recognised throughout the world for its tremendous contribution to music, outstanding quality, and inclusion of universal themes. By focusing on the language of music, and the ways in which the Italian language adapts to it, the uniqueness of Italian musical theatre is brought into relief.”

‘The Culture of Italian Music: Opera and Colonialism’ will be opened with an introduction by Professor Bartoloni, and followed by two talks by Mario Inglese, a Research Scholar at the University and Alessandro Luchetti, an NUI Galway PhD student.

Mario’s talk, ‘The Italian Language and Opera: Verdi and Puccini’ will focus on showing that although the careers of these two giants of operatic music coincided for a short span of time, the language of the libretti of the operas composed over the same period does differ considerably.

The second talk by Alessandro Luchetti is ‘The Music of Italian Colonization in Africa: Racism and Sexism’. The talk will center on the impact of colonial propaganda songs on fascist society. A selection of songs from the late 1930’s will be analysed in order to observe how racist and sexist stereotypes helped build a consensus around the colonial enterprise.

Professor Bartoloni explained: “The combination of two different genres, the classical opera and popular song will provide original perspectives for the understanding and appreciation of contrasting styles, and the history of Italian music. Further, the focus on the music of colonisation provides innovative insights into one of the most tragic and damaging periods of Italian history, fascism, and its use of popular music for propaganda purposes.”

The Week of the Italian Language in the World takes place annually and is promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its cultural offices within Embassies and Consulates throughout the world, under the auspices of the Presidency of the Italian Republic and in collaboration with the Accademia della Crusca, the preeminent institution for the study and the promotion of Italian as a language of classical and contemporary culture.

-Ends-

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