Italian Set to Music: Villanova Italian Studies Presents Annual Lecture Series on Music and Lyrics

From the invention of the violin and the piano, to the beautiful tenor of Luciano Pavarotti, to the electronic musical stylings of experimental composers Berio and Nono, Italian composers, librettists and cantautori (singer-songwriters) offer an eclectic musical heritage. Their music and lyrics express local identity and address a range of cultural and political issues from the Middle Ages to modern-day.

The Italian Studies program at Villanova University present the 2019-2020 edition of the annual Italian lecture series, “Italian Set to Music,” exploring the intersection of music and poetic language in the Italian tradition. Speakers from a variety of academic and artistic backgrounds—from Italian studies to musicology and music composition—will create an interdisciplinary series to stimulate and educate both the scholar and casual listener alike.

Luca Cottini, PhD, associate professor and coordinator of the Italian Studies program, and Mary Migliozzi, PhD, teaching assistant professor in Romance Languages and Literatures, organized the event. The series spans the full 2019-2020 academic year, and the Calendar of Events is as follows:

Francesco Ciabattoni, PhD, Georgetown University

Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, “From Unholy Racket to Heavenly Choirs: Music in Dante’s Commedia”

Francesco Ciabattoni, PhD, Georgetown University
5:30 p.m., Mendel 102

Roberto Andreoni, PhD, IES Milan

Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, “Lorenzo Da Ponte and How the Italian Language Made Opera Global”

Roberto Andreoni, PhD, IES Milan
5:30 p.m., Mendel 102

Alessandro Carrera, PhD, University of Houston

Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, “A History (sort of) of Modern Italian Song”

Alessandro Carrera, PhD, University of Houston
4:30 p.m., Idea Accelerator, Falvey Library

Cathy Ann Elias, PhD, DePaul University

Thursday, March 26, 2020, “Un piccolo grande cantastorie: Claudio Baglioni and his ever-changing universal stories”

Cathy Ann Elias, PhD, DePaul University
4:30 p.m., Idea Accelerator, Falvey Library

The series is sponsored by the Richard and Mary Anne Francisco Endowed Fund, which supports the Italian Studies lecture series annually. All lectures are free, open to the public and will include time for questions and discussion with the audience.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenging and changing world. With more than 40 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.