Starting November 17th, San Francisco will be home to a series of events about Italian music, food, cinema, and opera. There will be an opportunity for every Italy’s lover to listen to an outstanding Italian singer, to attend the opera featuring an Italian music director, to watch some of the latest movies by famous Italian directors and taste great specialties from Emilia Romagna. All in one week.
After he served as Music Director of the San Francisco Opera from 2009 to 2018, conducting over 40 operas and concerts since his Company debut in 2005, and after being awarded the San Francisco Opera Medal for artistic excellence, Maestro Nicola Luisotti will come back to the Bay Area to conduct Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. The occasion will be celebrated with a reception hosted by the Museo Italo Americano alongside Consul General of Italy Lorenzo and Mrs. Sheila Ortona on Sunday, November 17th. The event will be open, however a limited number of tickets is available. All proceeds will support the Museo and the activities serving its mission — researching, collecting, and displaying works of Italian and Italian-American artists, as well as promoting educational programs for the appreciation of Italian art and culture.
On Tuesday, November 19th, in the heart of the Mission district, Italian singer-songwriter Carmen Consoli will bring her Eco di Sirene World Tour at the Brava Theater, for a concert promoted by the Italian Cultural Institute. Carmen Consoli was the first Italian woman artist to ever tread the stage of the Olympic Stadium in Rome, and the only Italian artist to take part in the commemoration of Bob Marley’s death. The tour presents a compilation of some of her most successful songs. As mentioned by the singer-songwriter, the album’s “laboratory” was the web series Noi Due (and the others), which deals with the topic of human relationships and “how difficult it is to be tolerant of whoever is next to you.” The songs were recorded live with new arrangements and orchestrations, and the help of an acoustic guitar (played by Consoli herself), a violin, and a cello at the Forum Village in Rome.
For the fourth year, November is also the month when Italian cuisine gets the spotlight around the world. With a full week highlighting food education and the culture of taste, the event conveys a message of support to high-quality cuisine, with an accent placed on safeguarding and promoting Italian products, as well as creating narratives of the Italian territories. This edition will celebrate the cuisine of Emilia Romagna with special Italian menus offered at selected restaurants rated by the Accademia della Cucina Italiana of San Francisco.
The week will kick off with the screening of Gualtiero Marchesi: The Great Italian at the San Francisco Athletic Club. Director Maurizio Gigola will join the audience to talk about the documentary on the father of modern Italian cuisine. With his cooking, Mr Marchesi changed the history of Italian regional cuisine and basic components have become central in the immersive and sensorial convivial experience. The night will be also an occasion to contribute to Maurizio Gigola’s Longevity Project, a series promoting the Mediterranean diet.
Food will be featured also on screen during the Cinema Italian Style Festival through the Food Makers: the Future of Nutrition documentary. Written by Nick Difino and directed by Enrica Cavalli, the 48 minutes doc wants to bring attention to our ever-growing society, in which what we eat and how we produce influence the life of our planet. Over two billion people are affected by food problems and over one billion suffer from obesity and other malnutrition-related diseases. Fifteen students of the Food Innovation Program in Reggio Emilia traveled to Tel Aviv, Shanghai, Singapore, Kyoto, Davis, San Francisco, Boston, Wageningen, Maastricht, London, Bologna, the Italian Food Valley and Puglia. They discovered and studied how the food of the future will be and how some “food heroes” are improving and revolutionizing the quality of life through science, technology, and the study of traditions. The week is co-sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute of SF and the Italian Consulate General in SF.
As the Week of Italian Cuisine in the World wraps up on Friday, the 1st edition of Cinema Italian Style SF will kick off at the Vogue Theatre. The festival is co-organized by Luce Cinecittà — Italy’s premier film organization — and the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco, with the support from the Italian Consulate General in San Francisco. There will be plenty of opportunities to watch some of the best contemporary Italian movies, from Friday through Sunday.
Some of the titles include The Invisible Witness, the story of Adriano, who wakes up in a hotel room next to the dead body of his lover. The door is locked from the inside and there is no evidence of anybody else in the room. Despite he claims his innocence, Adriano is charged with murder and chooses a long-time criminal attorney to put together his defensive strategy. With three hours available to work on the case and find evidence of his innocence, Adriano is eventually forced to tell the truth to the lawyer.
On a different note, the movie directed by Daniele Luchetti, called Ordinary Happiness. Paolo, while driving his scooter off to work, crosses an intersection with the red lights on, he gets hit by a truck and dies. The main character though gets an hour and a half to live after death in order to achieve what really counts in life: being with the people he cares about, experiencing as much happiness as possible in that time on Earth.
Volare – Tutto il Mio Folle Amore is the latest movie directed by Gabriele Salvatores. Vincent is sixteen years old and is immersed in a world of his own. His mom Elena and her partner Mario adopted him, whereas Willi, who always wanted to be a singer, is his biological father. One night, he finally finds the courage to meet Vincent. He doesn’t know anything about him and how a small gesture of responsibility is going to be the beginning of a great adventure, bringing father and son together, allowing them to get to know and love each other on a journey in which they will have the opportunity to discover themselves, unconventionally, in an instinctive manner.
After La Cleopatra, Le Amazzoni nelle Isole Fortunate, La Circe, and Ifigenia in Aulide, Ars Minerva will present another modern world premiere of a long-forgotten Venetian opera. Ermelinda, the opera composed by Domenico Freschi in 1680, features two young lovers, Ermelinda and Ormindo, a tyrannical father, and two trouble makers. Ermelinda is not allowed to love Ormindo and will have to endure the stratagems and machinations fabricated by the other characters who want to split them. On November 22nd, for three nights, ODC theatre will host the opera directed by Céline Ricci, with Grammy-nominated harpsichordist Jory Vinikour conducting the instrument orchestra.