Italian Students celebrate Italian Language Week with Verdi’s Macbeth
Last week the Italian Consul of Perth, Dr. David Balloni hosted more than 100 Italian language studies high school students and their respective teachers at the Thursday night performance of Macbeth as part of the official Week of the Italian Language in the World (La Settimana Della Lingua Italiana nel Mondo).
Also in attendance was the newly appointed Ambassador of Italy to Australia, Francesca Tardioli whose visit to Perth coincided with the event. During her speech the Ambassador shared she was ‘pleasantly surprised’ to see so many young people in attendance who were ‘passionate about opera and the Italian language’.
“Opera is a lot more than just music it is a lot more than just a nice libretto. You can dream, you can cry, you can make comparisons to what happening in your life it’s a real 360 degree experience. I am very, very pleased to see that tonight this experience will be shared with people who have chosen to study my language – the Italian language. Go deeper and understand the culture of opera and understand why opera is so entwined in the Italian culture and through this you will discover a lot about Italian culture” she told the group of students.
This year’s language week theme was Italian on stage and for many of the students the Thursday night performance of Verdi’s Macbeth marked their first time seeing an Italian opera. Jason Millimaci from Chisholm Catholic College was one of the students in attendance. “I enjoyed a new Italian experience and since this is my first opera it’s very interesting to see how it worked and how important the art form is in Italian culture”.
Imogen Bowley from Chisholm Catholic College said she enjoyed experiencing the Italian culture in a different way. “I really liked the music and also getting to experience opera, which is a different form of music. I thought it was really interesting and also getting to hear Italian in not just the way we do in the classroom, which can sometimes be kind of boring. Seeing something different and interesting makes it easier to concentrate and want to learn more”.
Alethea Johnson from Kalamunda Senior High School said there were many educational benefits to experiencing an Italian opera. “It helps me immerse myself into the culture of Italy. It helps me to understand different words to use when I’m speaking and it’s just a fun way to teach others about the Italian culture”.
Maria Pennington who teaches Italian at Kalamunda Senior High School said the event allowed her students to experience “a world of creativity, beauty, history, storytelling and exquisite music”. Mrs Pennington attended the event with more than 50 students from Kalamunda High School including Italian, English and Drama studies students.
“Attending the opera and participating in the incursions have opened the hearts and minds of Kalamunda Senior High School Students and has encouraged them to see, feel and hear the world differently. West Australian Opera has helped students understand the connection between the Italian language and the Arts, and has taken them on an educational, cultural and rewarding journey”.