Italian theater and music was highlighted at Montclair State University in February as two renowned Italian artistic groups – the award-winning Teatro delle Albe and the acclaimed musical duo, the Mancuso brothers – brought their artistry to campus. Sponsored by a collaboration of cultural organizations and the Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies at Montclair State University, the events included a play, a theater workshop and a music workshop.
The centerpiece of the programming was Teatro delle Albe’s powerful play, Rumore di Acque (Noise in the Waters), which addresses the perils of asylum seekers and economic migrants attempting to reach Europe from North Africa by way of the Mediterranean Sea. The moving performance was followed by a Q&A session with the playwright and director, Marco Martinelli.
Musician brothers, Enzo and Lorenzo Mancuso, known as Fratelli Mancuso, brought their unique sound to Leshowitz Hall for a concert/workshop entitled, “Sicilian Music Revisited.” The Mancusos sang some of the highlights of their repertoire, which consists of an eclectic mix of sacred music, lullabies, and songs of protest. They also invited select participants to join them on stage to sing the love song, “Nesci, Maria.”
Teatro delle Albe co-founders, Marco Martinelli and Ermanna Montanari, ran the theater workshop that was attended by students of the Department of Theatre and Dance as well as select high school students of Italian who were invited to visit the campus. Conducted entirely in Italian, the workshop included work in movement, breathing and singing.
“Spanning both large and intimate settings, these visiting artists from Italy provided the Montclair State community with opportunities to learn, to be challenged and perhaps most importantly, to be part of a warm community that cherishes intellectual pursuits in the humanities and beyond,” says Teresa Fiore, associate professor and Inserra Chair in Italian and Italian American Studies. “I am profoundly grateful to the Inserra Endowment for what it allows us to bring to our campus.”
Video by Stefani Gore.