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photo from La Cantata dei Pastori
Gastronomy, History & Politics, Literature, Music, Theater & Dance

Christmas Party and Cantata di Natale

Musical show based on Neapolitan tradition (7pm)

December 18, 2019
5:00 pm

The event is only open to Members of Casa Italiana.
Please make sure to RSVP before Thursday, December 12.

A Christmas celebration featuring a cooking demonstration by chef Rosanna Di Michele, who will prepare “pasta alla chitarra” and other dishes from the regions of Abruzzo and Campania, followed by the one and only authentic Zabaglione del Direttore, made on the spot by Casa Director Stefano Albertini.

At 7pm, the party will move downstairs for a performance of

La cantata di Natale
from La Cantata dei pastori [The Shepher’s Cantata]

Written and directed by Alessandra Belloni (I Giullari di Piazza)
Music composed and arranged by John La Barbera

The cast includes:
Artistic director Alessandra Belloni also in the role of Mary – mezzo soprano, percussion
Max McGuire as La Befana
Joe Deninzon as The Devil – violin
Susan Eberenz – flute, piccolo, recorders
Wilson Montuori – guitar
Serena Davini – percussion
Mark Mindek as the Archangel Gabriel (on stilts)
Francesca Silvano – dancer

A Neapolitan Renaissance Christmas show, based on the traditional southern Italian play written by Andrea Perrucci in the 17th century and still performed annually around Naples. Featuring southern Italian traditional Christmas music, narrated by the Befana.

The story is set just before the birth of Christ, during Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem, while the Devil has dispatched demons to stop the Savior’s birth. Their escapades are entwined with those of Razzullo, one of many Pulcinella masks, here depicted as a comic, mischievous Neapolitan scribe who is always hungry.

Conjuring up tempests, dragons and other unseemly tricks, the demons try to do away with the play’s characters who are however under the protection of the Archangel Gabriel. Before good may triumph over evil, a great clash must occur between the Archangel and the Devil alongside a grotesque, but humorous depiction of heaven and hell.