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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2023 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano 2 D ear Readers, in the final issue of 2023, we've chosen to guide y o u t h r o u g h these festive times by high- lighting a recent milestone in Italian cultural heritage—a subject at the heart of L'Italo- Americano and dear to those of you who treasure their Ital- ian roots or the artistic splen- dor and diversity of Italy. Italian opera singing has now been proudly inscribed on the list of humanity's intangible cultural heritage. This recog- nition was announced at the 18th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Botswana. As defined by the United Nations cultural body, the recognition encompasses Opera: a tribute to our cultural legacy — and season's greetings to all! From the Editor the whole spectrum of opera: music, vocal performance, act- ing, and also its iconic stagecraft. This accolade is a true gift to Italy, as this age-old art form will now enjoy the official acknowledgment of being one of the most genuine and distinctive cultural expressions of the country. It is not just a nod to over five centuries of history, it's about timeless masterpieces that remain evergreen, evok- ing fresh enthusiasm each time they are performed—chal- lenging the misconception of opera as an elitist or niche genre. Each staging revitalizes universally understood and deeply popular sentiments, instantly palpable even to those who have never set foot in a theater before. The enchant- ment of the music, the orchestra infusing the air with its pas- sionate intensity, characters vividly coming to life on stage, plots that stir and communicate deep passions and emo- tions: everyone can experience them. Take La Bohème, for example, first performed in 1896. The musical vignettes crafted by Giacomo Puccini, set on a Christmas Eve reminiscent of our recent festivities, are cap- t i v a t i n g . F r o m R o d o l f o ' s C h e G e l i d a M a n i n a t o Mimì's Donde Lieta Uscì, the audience is effortlessly swept into the protagonists' love story. Each libretto, performer, and composer offers us a full spectrum of emotional experi- ences. Verdi's Nabucco, his third opera and the one that cement- ed his success, debuted at La Scala on March 9, 1842. More recently, it opened the opera seasons of this prestigious Milanese theater in 1946, 1966, and 1986. Often considered the most emblematic work of the Risorgimento by one of the greatest opera composers of all time, it's also renowned for the famous chorus Va, Pensiero, sull'Ali Dorate and is, in every sense, an explosion of intensity. Just by mentioning some of the most famous Italian operas, from Verdi's Aida, La Traviata, or Rigoletto, to R o s s i n i ' s T h e B a r b e r o f S e v i l l e , P u c c i n i ' s T o s c a , o r Mascagni's Cavalleria Rusticana, one grasps the complexity, grandeur, value, and artistic prestige of this genre. And then, some names suffice to wonder why this recognition has only just arrived: from Luciano Pavarotti to Renata Tebaldi, from Tito Schipa to Enrico Caruso, to mention just a few, who have always found a passionate audience in America. Opera is an emotion, and receiving this UNESCO recogni- tion is truly a matter of great prestige and pride. Once con- sidered somewhat old-fashioned, perhaps a Cinderella com- pared to our architectural and fine arts heritage, opera singing remains a jewel in the crown of national culture. Indeed, it may be the vast diversity of our national artistic output that makes it extraordinarily challenging to adequate- ly value each of its expressions. As the curtain moves on every opera, we at the editorial office can only let it fall on this year that ends, full of stories, places, and protagonists narrated on the pages of L'Italo- Americano with unwavering passion and dedication. And then, we begin to pull the ropes to open it wide for 2024, a year that will mark the 116th birthday of your newspaper, the oldest of the Italian-American community in America, and will be brimming with more precious insights into the most Italian piece of your identity. Dear readers, on behalf of the entire editorial team, we wish you a Happy New Year! Simone Schiavinato, Editor Simone Schiavinato NEWS & FEATURES TOP STORIES PEOPLE EVENTS P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 Member of FUSIE (Federazione Unitaria Stampa Italianaall'Estero), COGITO L'Italo-Americano Please send correspondence to P.O. BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano Newspaper (a 501(c)(3) non- profit organization), www.italoamericano.org, is the largest and longest-running Italian news- paper in America, not to mention the cultural and news resource for all things Italian in the US. A bilingual newspaper which represents an historical landmark for the Italian American Communities in the West Coast and throughout the US. L'Italo-Americano benefits from subsidies by the Italian Government, Memberships and Donations intended to support and not interrupt a mission that began in 1908 to preserve and promote the Italian language and culture in the USA Periodicals postage paid at Monrovia, California 91016, and additional mailing offices. PUBLISHER Robert Barbera Grande Ufficiale EDITOR IN CHIEF Simone Schiavinato ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER Patrick Abbate EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Barbara Minafra COPY EDITOR Francesca Bezzone LOS ANGELES CONTRIBUTOR Silvia Nittoli SAN FRANCISCO CONTRIBUTOR Serena Perfetto SEATTLE CONTRIBUTOR Rita Cipalla CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mariella Radaelli, Matt Walker, Francesca Bezzone, Luca Ferrari, Stefano Carnevali, Paula Reynolds, Teresa Di Fresco Nicoletta Curradi, Generoso D'Agnese, Jessica S. Levy, Fabrizio Del Bimbo, Maria Gloria, Chuck Pecoraro, Anthony Di Renzo Serena Perfetto, Kenneth Scambray, Chiara D'Alessio, Luca Signorini, Giulia Franceschini © 2020 L'Italo-Americano Membership: One year $59 - Single copy $2.25 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to L'Italo Americano PO Box 6528 Altadena, CA 91003 P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003

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