Once again the Dante Society participated in the National Multicultural Festival (NMF) held on 8-10 February in Civic. It is unfortunate to note the almost total absence of Italian associations, restaurants and entertainment. Apart from our own effort, things Italian were only promoted by the Yarralumla Bilingual Primary School on 10 Feb, by the Italian Tourist Office (ENIT) at a stall on 9 Feb and by the Sicilian Association on the same day. This latter stall did brisk business selling cannoli and other Sicilian pastries.
On Sat 9 Feb the Dante Musica Viva choir gave a powerful 20-minute performance on Stage 6 (London Cct). Francesco Sofo led a large contingent of 20+ singers and four musicians and introduced each song to the audience. The choir presented a varied repertoire, finishing with the ever-popular O sole mio featuring our own brand of ‘the three tenors’ – Giovanni, Livio and Saverio – and the aria Libiam featuring Virginia and Livio.
Then on Sunday 10 Feb we had an information stall in London Cct, near Stage 6. Francesca and Franco Foppoli, Catharina Koopman and Orlando Di Iulio, then Sue Hancok and myself took it in turns to hand out literature on the society’s activities and answer questions regarding our language courses and cultural events. Unfortunately we couldn’t play our own Italian music (including the choir’s CD) because we were too close to a very noisy stage.
One of the many people who stopped to talk to us was the local politician Giulia Jones who was excited to tell us that she has Italian heritage – in fact her first name is spelt the Italian way. Giulia also made a stop at the stall next door to ours – the Yarralumla Bilingual school.