How opera integrated our ancestors. Emigrants brought marble and opera
Maria Mattei tells how expatriate Carraresi in the U.S. gained acceptance through Belcanto and culture
This morning an article appeared in La Nazione in which Maria Mattei, president of the Cultural Commission of the Municipality of Carrara, a scholar of Anglo-Saxon history and the relations of the western world with the city, taking the cue from the recent concert of the Amici della Lirica held at the Accademia di Belle Arti, recalls how the link between Opera and Marble has always been strong.
When our sculptors such as Attilio Piccirilli, quarrymen and stonemasons left the Apuan Alps in search of a new fortune in America and were faced with racist prejudices and stereotypes, opera, as well as sculpture became the means to break down these prejudices and legitimise our fellow citizens in the eyes of the Americans, contributing to the creation of that Italian-American culture that is as deep-rooted as it is fascinating, says Mattei “speaking of migrants, how can we not think of the city of Barre and its Opera House that, built in 1899, reflects the Apuan quarrymen’s love of opera? I like to think that its four companies perform that same Bohème that enchanted the people of Barre on April 1, 1899, at the Politeama Verdi, the same one that made Cher and Nicholas Cage fall in love, a century later, in ‘Stregata dalla Luna. In the film, which is a true declaration of love for New York’s Italian-American culture, the protagonists are two souls who connect thanks to Puccini’s masterpiece’.”.