Verdi Student Art Projects

The Edmonton Verdi Festival Committee wanted to get children involved in the celebration of the 200th anniversary of Verdi's birth to raise awareness of opera and also Italy's contributions to world culture. The Student Art Projects were designed to do just that. The student artworks from both projects are being showcased at the Viva Verdi Gala Concert at the Winspear Centre on October 11 so look for them in the various lobbies.

Colours of Verdi Student Art Project

Antonella- Ciancibello-Normey created the Colours of Verdi Art Project for her students aged 4 to 13 and held student art design workshops at the Santa Maria Goretti Community Centre on two Saturday afternoons (September 28th and October 5th) from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. During these workshops the students worked with professional artist Marilynn Jeffery to develop their personal pieces inspired by the music of Verdi.

Ida BrunoIda Bruno is 9 years old and very proud of her Italian heritage. She is a member of the Italian Appennini Dancers, an altar server at Santa Maria Goretti Parish and a student of the Dante Alighieri School of Italian Language and Culture.

Natascia Alessandra CiancibelloNatascia Alessandra Ciancibello is in sixth grade and has enjoyed many pleasant travel experiences that have taken with her family to Italy, the United States, across Canada. She has played soccer for many years, enjoys dance classes, gymnastics and arts and crafts.

Gina GalloGina Gallo has many interests such as Italian dancing, Italian School and Recreation Academy. She enjoys drawing pictures and listening to music including that of her idol Taylor Swift. She has a twin brother, Nico.

Caterina Angela KoziolCaterina Angela Koziol is very active in dance and be seen dancing almost anywhere. This translates into her love of music, which includes having music on her ipod. She also love Italy and has been there twice.

Giulia Carmela KoziolGiulia Carmela Koziol loves soccer and has played since the age of three. She is very active in dance and has studied tap, jazz, and ballet, and loves pop music. . With her family, she has visited Italy twice.

Victor-Manuelle RivasVictor-Manuelle Rivas loves to play with his cousins and video games, spend time at the park, and watch movies with his mother and brother. Victor's favorite color is orange and he absolutely loves pizza.

Zachary SholterZachary Sholter is in Grade 2 doing French Immersion. His many interests Include dinosaurs, trains, rocks, and minerals, Skylanders, Ninjago and Lego. Zachary enjoys extracurricular activities including hockey, jiu-jitsu, swimming lessons, baseball, skiing, K4J, and piano lessons.

Antonella Ciancibello-NormeyAntonella Ciancibello-Normey has been teaching at the Faculty of Extension since 1990 and has established courses ranging from introductory to advanced language courses, to classes that showcased Italian literature, cinema and cuisine. She has also taught Italian language courses at both MacEwan University and at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. She also teaches individuals and groups ranging from young children and adults in private classes. A hard-working community volunteer, Ciancibello-Normey is a founder a president of the Celebrating Italian Families of Edmonton Society (CIFES), which has been showcasing and promoting Italian culture for the past 20 years. This year, as the co-Chair of the Edmonton Verdi Festival, she has committed to a 6-month calendar of celebratory events that commemorate the genius of the great 19th Century Romantic Composer. The Colours of Verdi Art Project will not only be seen at the Winspear but also from November 1-3 as part of the "20-Regions of Italy" Extravaganza Weekend: Encounters With Verdi.

Marilynn Jeffery

Having a lifelong fascination with art, Marilynn Jeffery took up painting in 2002. Through classes, workshops, and a lot of practice, she has added technique and discipline to her innate creativity. She also learned from reading books and communing with fellow artists. Jeffery paints almost daily getting inspiration from her surroundings as she continues on an evolving journey of exploration and learning. Often she studies the areas around her home as references for her landscapes. Recently she has begun sketching and painting outdoors excited by the natural beauty that surrounds her. Her choice of medium is oils and she loves the way brush strokes work in combination, creating effects that constantly delight and surprise her.

The Colors of Verdi Project

Le Forme ed I Colori di Verdi: The Shapes and Colours of Verdi Student Art Project

Antonella Cortese, Director of the Comitato Promotore della Lingua Italiana Italian Pre-School program, undertook a project with her students working with artist Luciana Erregue-Sacchi. They decided on three musical selections from Verdi's opera's La Forza del Destino (Overture), La Traviata (Libiamo ne' lieti calici) and Aida (Triumphal March). The students watched videos of the pieces on You Tube. Each song chosen varied in tempo so that it would solicit different colours and brush strokes. To begin, the children were able to decide how to divide up their individual canvas using masking tape. At this point, the music portion of the activity began. The project involved the children listening to each piece and thinking about the colour it "spoke" to them. Each got three colours to use in the painting. From there, the children listened again to the music with their eyes closed and then were asked to hold their brushes and make brush strokes in the air according to the music they heard. On the third hearing of the music, each child painted one section of the canvas for each piece they heard. The children ranged in age from three to five. The following participated: Annaliese Falsetti, Zachary and Marino DiBerardino, Adam and Benjamin Owczarek, Matteo Mannella , Gabriel Dempsey, Adaleine and Maya Magnan, Silvio Pino, Brighton Raimondi, Emila McCann and Matteo Masia. Teacher's Aides who assisted were Maria Bavaro and Enza Talarico.

Antonella CorteseAntonella Cortese is the Director and a teacher at the Comitato Promotore della Lingua Italiana (CPLI) – Italian Preschool. Cortese holds a Doctorate of Education and Policy Studies from San Diego State University/Claremont Graduate University and a Master's Degree in Bilingual/Bicultural Education from Wayne State University. As an educator, she has taught Italian at the K-to-University level for over 15 years and has done research and written extensively on the second language acquisition of children. She has been the Director and a teacher at the CPLI Italian Preschool since its inception. Cortese also works with children for whom English is a second language during after-school hours and continues to do research in the area of language acquisition and language development.

Luciana Erregue-SacchiLuciana Erregue-Sacchi studied law in her native Argentina but chose to follow her second love, art, when she moved to Canada. She earned her BA in History of Art, Design and Visual Culture at the University of Alberta (2013) and is currently in the Master's Program in History of Art, Design and Visual Culture at the University of Alberta. Luciana has extensive experience teaching art to both young children and adults from her tenure as a Gallery Educator at the Art Gallery of Alberta (2004-2005 and 2010-2012), Tour Guide at Government House and Artist Educator at a number of local Edmonton schools, bilingual and community settings. Erregue-Sacchi ran the Belgravia School Art Club (2000-2005) and has been involved since 2010 in the Belgravia Arts Park Project including the commission and installation of sculptures and the creation of a natural amphitheatre for Belgravia Park. She is passionate about fostering dialogue between community based groups and traditional art institutions.

Maria BavaroMaria Bavaro is a teacher and has been working with the Comitato Promotore della Lingua Italiana, Italian Preschool since 2010. She came to Edmonton from Italy in 1977 and has been an active member since her arrival. Babaro has also taught Italian at the Societá Dante Alighieri School for over 15 years and also worked for and with the Santa Maria Goretti Parish.

Enza TalaricoEnza Talarico is a teacher's aide and has been working with the Comitato Promotore della Lingua Italiana - Italian Preschool since 2012. In 1975, at the age of nine, she moved to Canada from Italy with her family. She has been active in the Italian community for over 20 years, most notably with the Italian Appennini Dancers as a Board member and strong supporter.

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The National Congress of Italian-Canadians, Edmonton District (NCIC)
and The Celebrating Italian Families of Edmonton Society (CIFES)