Il Circolo, the Italian Cultural Society, sponsored an over-the-top program, “Italians Got Talent,” at Palm Beach Atlantic University on Sunday, November 12, 2017. The more than 120 guests entered the Helen Persson Auditorium where a screen projection of Florence, Italy on stage greeted them. After an introduction by President Paul Finizio, the program began with a slide presentation by Executive Director of Friends of Uffizi, Lisa Marie Browne, who gave a history of the gallery, its construction, and present-day views. The film also included samples of restorations of the museums old tapestries made possible by her organization.
Next, Dr. Emanuele Pettener, professor of Italian Studies at Florida Atlantic University, gave a comprehensive review of his experience as a native Italian coming to the United States. His clever, humorous talk had the audience laughing and crying at the same time. His childhood dreams of New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles were shattered when he eventually came to live and work in Boca Raton! However, as time went by, along with his wife, Ilaria, and two children, he adjusted and actually loves his new life. Emanuele never ceases to capture his audience with his refreshing, Italian accent and his inimitable sense of humor.
Barbara Salani addressed the audience by giving a brief history of her heritage including a composer uncle and phenomenal, performer father. She and her brother, Sergio, then gave an outstanding performance with the two of them on one piano. Assuming nothing could top that, along came world-renowned tenor, Carlos De Antonis, whose emotionally performed singing of familiar Italian folk songs, brought the guests to standing ovations. The rendition of an original song created by him and his accompanist, Sergio Salani, while in Sorrento together, was a realization of the inspiration that Italy’s beauty can create.
This never-to-be-forgotten afternoon ended with Carlos De Antonis leading the audience in the singing of O Sole Mio. Cheers and tears ended the event.
Italians have talent and they are emotional!