• March 2024

    Siamo Una Famiglia & Membership

    AMHS President Chris Renneker (center) enjoyed Italian Heritage Night at the Washington Wizards on January 25 at the Capital One Arena in downtown Washington, D.C. Chris and friends Ravi Ganesh (left) and Jason Sabatelle had dinner at Matchbox before the game.
    Credit: Ravi Ganesh
    About 10 AMHS members and friends met for happy hour at Grazie Mille for some really good cocktails and appetizers, plus friendship and laughs. Pictured are AMHS members (starting second from left) Melis Mull, Board Member Mark Lino and Sarah Scott, along with friends Anastasia (far left) and Tiffany (right).
    Credit: Maria D’Andrea-Yothers
    Some 20 AMHS members, family and friends gathered at A Modo Mio in Arlington on February 25 for a group lunch. Conversation and fellowship flowed freely as everyone enjoyed the restaurant’s excellent food.
    Credit: Courtesy of Maria D’Andrea-Yothers

    AMHS Membership

    We welcome new members:  David Andrew DeAngelis, James Howard Rafferty, Johann Vento, Tonia Johnston, and Emilia Johnston.

    Compleanni a Marzo
    Eileen Parise Del Monaco, March 1; Greg Bernabei, March 2; Maria Fresco, March 3; Stephen D’Alessio, March 5; Salvatore DiPilla, March 8; Charles Philip D’Adamo, March 9; Sam Yothers, March 12; Mary Petrino, March 14; Joanne Balzano, March 16; David Scalzitti, March 19; Diana Hoopes, March 23; Benjamin O’Hara, March 24; Mary Katherine Theis, March 25;  Lucio D’Andrea, March 28; Macarena Clark, March 29; and Anna Maria DiPilla, March 31.
    Compleanni ad Aprile
    Melis Mull, April 3; Joseph Theis, April 4; Susan Ann Bonsiero, April 5; Diana Bernabei, April 6; James Cocco, April 11;  Bob Farrace, April 13; Teresa Talierco Scafetta, April 15; Alex Sawatzki, April 19; Dominic Balzano, Stephen Ulissi and Elena Francini-McGrann, April 21; Julia Conti, April 22; Berardino Palazzo, April 24; Belinda Sabatini, April 25; Christopher Renneker, April 26; Joann Novello, April 28; Tommaso Profenno, April 30.
    Anniversari a Marzo
    Raymond & Barbara Bernero, March 26.
    Anniversari ad Aprile
    Anthony & Norma Phillips, April 14; Michael & Elizabeth Iademarco, April 20; and Roberto & Bess DiTullio, April 25.
    Membership Information
    Category                          # of Persons
    Associate (Couple)    2   X   2        =   4
    Associate (Individual)                    =  35
    General (Couple)       41 X  2         =  82
    General (Individual)                       =  71
    Honorary                                       =    8
    Scholarship                                    =    2
    Student                                          =    6
    Total                                               = 208

    March 2024

  • March 2024

    Nazzareno De Angelis: International Opera Star of the First Third of the 20th Century

    By Joseph “Sonny” Scafetta, Jr.

    Nazzareno De Angelis (Credit: Columbia Records CD)

    Accomplished opera singer Nazzareno De Angelis was born on November 17, 1881, in the city of L’Aquila (population 70,967 in the 2013 Census) which is the capital of the province with the same name in the region of Abruzzo. His first serious exposure to music came in local choirs as a boy soprano. Earning praise for the excellence of his voice, he became a part of the choir of the Giulia Chapel and later the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. He left the Vatican at the age of 13 to begin studying with Dr. Faberi at the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. For several years, he studied both baritone and bass parts. Eventually, he settled on singing in the lower bass. He spent his last two years at the Accademia developing his repertoire and performing in recitals.

    He returned home to L’Aquila at the age of 21 and made his professional opera debut there at the Comunale in May, 1903, in Donizetti’s Linda di Chamounix as the Prefect. One month later, he performed at the same theater in another opera, Le Educante di Sorrento, by Emilio Usiglio. Impressed by his performances, the manager of the Teatro Quirino in Rome engaged De Angelis to play Oroveso in Bellini’s Norma in July, 1903. Later that year, he appeared in two productions in the Teatro Adriano: first, as Il Spettro (The Ghost) in Ambroise Thomas’s Hamlet and then as Sparafucile in Verdi’s Rigoletto.

    During 1905, De Angelis toured the Netherlands. After the tour, he was invited to all the major opera houses in Italy. He made his debut at La Scala in 1907 and appeared often under the baton of its principal conductor, Arturo Toscanini. He cut his first audio discs in 1907 and 1908 for Fonotipia Records. In 1909, he sang at the Paris Opera as the High Priest in Spontini’s La Vestale. During 1910 and 1911, he sang for the Chicago Grand Opera. For the season of 1911-1912, he sang a series of acclaimed roles at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. In 1913, he returned to La Scala to sing the role of Archibaldo in Montemezzi’s L’amore dei Tre Re (The Love of the Three Kings). When Italy entered World War I in May, 1915, the draft eligible 33-year-old bachelor De Angelis moved to the Chicago Opera Association and stayed there until 1920. He then returned to Italy and made a sequence of tours throughout Europe. In 1931, he recorded Boito’s Mefistofele in Milan for the Italian label of Columbia Records. It is the only role that he recorded in its entirety. He retired from the opera stage in 1939 at age 58 and thereafter provided voice lessons to pupils in Milan and Rome, where he died on December 14, 1962, at age 81.

    During his 36-year career, De Angelis appeared on stage more than 1,500 times, performing roles in 57 different operas. He was especially celebrated for his powerful portrayal of the title role in Mefistofele which he sang about 500 times between 1906 and 1938. He was also admired for his portrayals of Creon in Cherubini’s Medea and Moses in Mosè in Egitto. Selections from his recorded output, consisting mainly of arias and duets by Verdi, Rossini, Boito, Wagner, Puccini, Meyerbeer, Halévy, Thomas, Gounod, and Weber, have been issued by Preiser Records on two separate CDs, i.e. #89042 and #89507. His complete Mefistofele was re-issued on CD by Naxos Records in 2003 as #8.110273-74.

    Sources, both accessed March 14, 2021:

    March 2024

  • March 2024


    Julia Paola is in Italy!

    Julia Paola on vacation in Sardegna.

    By Maria D’Andrea-Yothers

    Julia Paola, winner of the AMHS Scholarship in 2019 and currently a director on the AMHS board, departed for Torino in 2022 to obtain her Italian citizenship, which she did, in 2023. In November 2023, she passed an Italian fluency exam with a C1 “Advanced/Native” level fluency. She is currently studying at the Università degli Studi di Torino, pursuing a master’s degree in Area and Global Studies for International Cooperation, which she hopes to complete in 2025.

    As an AMHS scholarship winner, Julia became an honorary Society member and served as an intern. She has remained involved with the Society and supporting events while living in Italy. Julia is originally from Annapolis and graduated in the Spring of 2022 from the George Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs and Political Science with a concentration in International Politics for Europe and Eurasia. She also had a minor in Italian Literature and Language and served as the president of GWU’s Societa‘ di Cultura Italiana from May 2020 until she graduated. Her paternal grandparents are Piemontesi and Calabresi. She has been fortunate to visit her family in Torino and study abroad in Siena. During the 2020-2021 school year, she worked as a teaching aid for Italian virtually at her former high school.

    After earning her master’s degree, Julia hopes to remain in Italy or Europe to work with refugees, teach Italian or English, or help others with Italian heritage to pursue their own Italian citizenship. She also hopes to write a guide for how to obtain one’s citizenship by applying directly in Italy as it was an invaluable experience for her and unlocked many potential opportunities.
    Auguri Julia!

    March 2024

  • March 2024

    A Message from the President

    Dear members and friends:

    I am excited to share with you some Society updates as we move into the new year. 

    First, you will notice a change in the format of our notiziario. We will be moving away from the every other month format to a rolling format. We will send shorter, more frequent notices to the community closer to when events and programs are happening. What this means is that you will receive more frequent and more timely information. The message from the president will be sent quarterly in the future. 

    Secondly, something I have been very interested in doing is reaching out and cooperating more with other Italian organizations in our area. We are successfully fostering our relationship with the Italian Cultural Society and will be sharing some of their events with our members. To highlight two in particular, we will be joining them on a tour of the National Gallery of Art and most excitingly we are being offered discounted admission to their Savoring Italy Abruzzo discussion with food and wine pairing. 

    Thirdly, we are interested in soliciting any feedback from members on improvements they would like to see to the  Society. This could be things that we used to do that you would like to see come back or entirely new ideas. We have several new ideas on the horizon that we are working on. We will also soon be looking to amend the bylaws of the Society to make the organization more dynamic and efficient. You will hear more about this process in the future. If there are any ideas regarding the bylaws or other matters, please reach out to me at  president@abruzzomoliseheritagesociety.org.

    We also have many interesting virtual and in person events and activities on the horizon. Please visit our events calendar to be in the know and keep your eye on your email for further communications: https://www.abruzzomoliseheritagesociety.org/mission/events/#!calendar.

    Best regards,
    Chris Renneker 

    March 2024