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Department of

Languages and Literatures

Musica italiana - Primavera 2014

On campus

Verdi, the Revolutionary: How Music United a Nation
   A Workshop with Dr. Ron ShaheenItalian street scene

24 marzo | rigsby language and culture commons (Founders 123)

Time: 2:30-3:50 p.m.
Cost: Free
Contact: Loredana Di Martino,

Giuseppe Verdi, one of the greatest opera composers who ever lived, captured a nation's aspirations in his art.  Come listen to some great music by this renowned composer and learn how his name became synonymous with the unification of Italy.

About the speaker: Dr. Shaheen received his doctorate in historical musicology from the University of California, Los Angeles. The subject of his dissertation centered on Italian opera of the early 19th century. As a Fulbright Scholar, he pursued his doctoral research in the musical archives of Northern Italy. Concurrently with his musicological pursuits, Dr. Shaheen studied singing and vocal pedagogy. He is a member of the American Musicological Society and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).  At USD Dr. Shaheen teaches "Music for the Stage," voice class, and is co-director of the Opera Workshop.  He also coordinates the individual music lessons for the Music Department and teaches individual voice lessons.




Off campus

Piccola Musica Notturna /A Little Night MusicPalimpsest logo

19 febbraio | UCSD: CPMC Concert hall

Time: 7 p.m.
Cost: $15.50 Purchase Online
Contact: Music Dept. Box Office (858) 534-3448

Co-curated by Susan Narucki and Jonathan Hepfer, the second Palimpsest program of the season is an exploration of evocative works by the Italian modernists Luigi Dallapiccola, Niccolò Castiglioni and Aldo Clementi.  All composers with one foot firmly planted in the 20th century and one in the Renaissance, the pieces presented seamlessly combine rigor and lyricism, chaos and elegance, complexity and simplicity, the current and the eternal.  Featuring the dynamic soloists of the vocal ensemble kallisti the program will also include a new work by Kyle Rowan, commissioned as a companion piece to Dallapiccola's masterwork 'Piccola Musica Notturna' ('A Little Night Music')

Susan Narucki, co-curator
Jonathan Hepfer, Guest Conductor and co-curator
kallisti: Tiffany Du Mouchelle, Bonnie Lander, Sara Perez, Alice Teyssier and Kirsten Wiest, sopranos


Zucchero, Italy's Superstar

5 aprile | balboa theater (directions)

Time: 8 p.m.
Cost: $43-53 (buy online)
Contact: (760) 720-2460

Zucchero (“Sugar” in Italian) is Italy’s most beloved rock star and one of the top Italian artists worldwide, having sold over 40 million records throughout a career spanning over four decades. As a singer-songwriter, guitarist and keyboardist, he has collaborated with the royalty of international rock, blues, R&B, jazz and classical music – from Bono, Sting, Iggy Pop and Eric Clapton to Miles Davis, John Lee Hooker and Solomon Burke to Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli. The 57-year-old has also won two World Music Awards, six IFPI Europe Platinum Awards and was nominated for a Grammy in 2007. Sting was quoted as saying; “ Every country produces one singer in each generation who represents that country, the way Bruce Springsteen represents America or Bono does Ireland. Zucchero is the Italian voice for everyone in the world”. His longstanding collaborator Bono described him by saying; “My friend Zucchero has had Italy singing and dancing for years. . . His boyish smile makes him the most charming man in Italy, that smile that just runs all over his face. But the voice is the sound of aged oak, like an old, oak-aged whisky”.

Following his last acclaimed studio album, Chocabeck (2011) and a successful worldwide tour, Zucchero is back with a new album and direction, paying tribute to the musical sounds of Cuba. Recorded with some of Cuba’s top musicians, He explores the native sounds of Havana on La Sesión Cubana. Self-produced with his longtime collaborator Grammy-winner Don Was (Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, The Rolling Stones) and with his deep-rooted appreciation for all musical genres, Zucchero successfully married the rhythms of Cuban and American music including salsa, soul, blues and rock to create a thrilling cornucopia of sound. “I wanted to celebrate a feast of music,” he noted after recording. With La Sesión Cubana, the rest of the world will finally take notice of what Italy has known all along…. Zucchero has always been a star.


Archive of past events on campus


Sept. 5, 2013: Workshop: "Crossing Seas, Riding Waves: From the Mediterranean to the World": A Workshop with Italian Singer/Songwriter Erica Mou

Erica Mou hails from Apulia in the South of Italy. Her first album è (is) was released in 2011 to great acclaim. In 2012 she participated in the Sanremo Music Festival with the song “Nella vasca da bagno del tempo.” Her second album is called Contro le onde (Against the waves). She has won several prizes and is touring the U.S. for the 2013 Hit Week.

In this workshop-mini concert Erica will discuss her approach to creating songs, from words to music, and her experience with the music industry in Italy and abroad.

Co-sponsored by SDSU's Italian Studies Program (Department of European Studies), World Music and Ethnomusicology Program (School of Music and Dance), and by the USD Italian Program of the Department of Languages and Literatures.