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Eastchester High School students celebrate “La Festa Italiana”

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20 March 2018

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Eastchester High School students celebrate “La Festa Italiana”

Article by Tiziano Thomas Dossena

Deep in the heart of Westchester County lays the town of Eastchester, one of the many suburban towns, villages and cities that make this county an enviable area to live. Among the finely kept houses stands Eastchester High School, where “La Festa Italiana” was offered to the community at large by the students of EHS Italian Club and La Società Onorifica Italica to display the deep knowledge of the Italian language they acquired at this respected institution as well as the enthusiasm for anything Italian they absorbed from their teachers.

After a brief introduction by Mrs. Lucrezia Lindia, teacher and club adviser, and the clubs’ presidents, followed a speech by an alumnus of the School, Ms. Alyssa Porco, who spoke heartily of the years she spent at Eastchester High School and the advantage she attained by having such great teachers of Italian (in particular she mentioned Francesco Lindia). Virginia Molinari Holek, Immediate Past President of the Garibaldi Lodge #2583 of the Sons and Daughters of Italy in America, was then recognized for her indefatigable efforts to help the community through the charitable endeavors of her lodge. Special thanks came from the students for the disbursement of various scholarships designed for students of Italian and students of Italian Heritage.

Click on this image to hear l’inno di Mameli!

The performances by the students were entertaining and remarkably refreshing. The national Italian anthem (Inno di Mameli) was sung with vigor and passion by the students of Italian II. A link to the video of this performance may be found by clicking on the image above.

Il giudizio della discordia. Photo by Julianna Portante

Italian IV students presented then a sketch named “Il Giudizio della Discordia,” which was amusing and well spoken, touched the myth of Helen and Paris.

“Breus,” a pleasant passage from “La Tavola Ritonda,” was successful in bringing the Round Table characters to life. All students from Italian III excelled at their intricate staging. A special kudos goes to Alex Siegel for his extended and flawless presentation.

A scene from Breus. Photo by Julianna Portante

“Osare o non Osare?” was a hilarious performance also by the students of Italian III, touching the topic of teenagers shyness and bravado. Lots of physical humor, some of it seemingly improvised, added to the comic lines of the act.

Osare o non osare? Photo by Julianna Portante

A topic that did not need any introduction was the next piece, “Pinocchio,” which had the advantage of using the microphone for all the performers, aiding to the comprehension of the performance in Italian. The students from Italian III were all excellent in their diction and acting; a superb rendition of the wooden puppet and his encounter with the cricket, the fox and the cat was done by Amy Cartolano.

A scene from Pinocchio. Photo by Juliana Portante.

In “Andreuccio da Perugia,” a tale adapted from Boccaccio’s “Decameron,” the performance brought the audience back to the Middle Ages and the humor of this great writer. A confident Ethan Gatrell led the students of Italian IV in this epic and amusing portrayal. A valiant Fiordalisio was performed by Giulia Risi.

“Cavalleria Rusticana” was performed by the Advanced Placement students in an impeccable way. The reenactment of the final moments of this great opera (“Addio alla madre”) were touching and proved once again the fluency in Italian of the students at Eastchester High School. A very believable Alfio (Joseph Gentile) and Santuzza (Julia Caparelli) were flanked by an also credible Turiddu (Adriano Policicchio) and a great supportive cast.

The final scene of Cavalleria Rusticana. Photo by Juliana Portante

Turiddu challenges Alfio to a duel. (From Cavalleria Rustcana) Photo by Juliana Portante

Last act was the song “Io vivo per lei,” performed wholeheartedly by the young Nicolette Mancini and Benjamin Araujo. A portion of the performance may be viewed by clicking on the image below.

Click on the image to hear “Io vivo per lei” performed by Nicolette Mancini & Benjamin Araujo (Photo by Juliana Portante)

Mrs. Lindia was helped in the organization of the event by Prof. Francesco Lindia, Ms. Marcoccia, Mr. Alexander, and Mr. J. Gwaryak.

The “Festa Italiana” ended with a fabulous dinner, graciously provided to everyone present by the students and their families. The many delicious dishes available made the dinner as good as a first class Italian restaurant. Since the quantity of the food was in excess, as a typical Italian venue, Eastchester Town Court Judge Fred Salanitro arranged for the copious left overs to be delivered to a homeless shelter in Harlem, last generous and thoughtful gesture of an evening of Italian heritage celebration by these wonderful community of Eastchester.

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Tiziano Thomas Dossena

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