In this talk, Fabrizio provided a brief context to Christianity and its various denominations. He also gave some background to Italian society during the Renaissance such as the background to the Popes and the Medici family.
The last section of the talk focused on how Michelangelo was commissioned to paint the various frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. It turns out that it was not a straightforward commission, and Michelangelo had strong disagreements with the Pope, and this is expressed through the frescoes in the chapel.
We would like to thank the Friends of the Museum for inviting us to share a little bit of Italian cultural history with your members.
The Asian Civilisations Museum has a gallery which showcases Christian art, particularly those that were done in Asia. For more information information, please visit their website.
18 November 2018 – By popular demand, Fabrizio repackaged his Roman Myths and Legends talk for younger children, while teaching them a few words in Latin. This event was conducted at Orchard library.
Inspired by the stories, our good friend, Alena Chow from Touch-Art-Peace, conducted a workshop on Nagomi art, which requires you to apply pastel powder onto paper with your fingers. The children then went on to create their own pictures of a Roman garden.
However, we were taken by surprise when one boy, who was so inspired by Fabrizio’s stories, decided to create a picture of the Colosseum!
14 October 2018 – Fabrizio invited his friends from Les Grisettes to entertain the audience with a selection of light entertaining Italian and French music from the Belle Epoque (Golden Age) at the Esplanade Library. Their musicality was enhanced by the comedic touches by the trio. They even got the audience to sing bits of “Habanera” from Bizet’s Carmen!
Lecture; Eastern influences on Boccaccio’s Decameron by Dr Frank Passani.
I was one of the invitees for the IQ Festa. Let’s dive into how the festival goes!
Photo: GESSI Singapore
I was quite mesmerised as I entered the event venue: GESSI Singapore.GESSI, an Italian brand specialising in bathroom fixtures and accessories, set up its Singapore branch in 2015 at this iconic colonial house along Penang Road.
Here are examples of their stunning interiors:
Upon registration, I received this lovely door gift; a tote bag with the Karina&Friends logo on it! This eco-friendly bag is made of very strong fibres. They are much stronger than the usual tote bags, and I have been taking this along to work and for shopping. I hear that FABItalia will be launching an online store to sell them very soon. So don’t hesitate to buy them once it is out!
The rationale behind the brand is that Fabrizio used to work withCaritas, a humanitarian organisation, in various parts of Europe. While on duty in Serbia, he saved a stray dog from an oncoming car, and he decided to name her Karina. He then brought her back to Rome and she has been living with his family ever since. Unfortunately, Karina passed on a little while ago. Fabrizio decided to start the brand as a way to remember her, and she has since come to represent friendship and love. As such, he plans to include more designs contributed by artists within his circle of friends to celebrate the friendship that he has found since settling down in Singapore.
Back to the event proper, the day started out with a Nagomi pastel art workshop by Alena Chow. She is a certified Nagomi artist and instructor, and she encouraged us to find our inner artists with applying the pastels to paper with our fingers. The workshop was really enjoyable as the process was very therapeutic. The beautiful pastel colours and the inviting ambiance of the room helped too. Everyone seemed to enjoy the workshop, and the variety of the final art works was really interesting.
I was a little hungry after the workshop and I went over to the food and drinks counter. There were bruschetta and two choices of pasta on offer. I tried both portions of pasta and a bruschetta with oregano and tomato. The plates of pasta were full of creamy flavour, and I could not resist finishing every morsel. The bruschetta had a pinch of garlic with chunks of tomato—absolute magic. A couple of Italian candies and drinks (even Peroni bottles) were there for the guests, which I appreciated as I like to eat some sweets after my main meal.
One of the main surprises of the event is Andrei Slobodyanyuk playing the violin. Despite being quite young, he is already so talented. His performances have been highly prized in Poland, France, and Singapore. I really did not expect this young boy who was roaming about the venue to suddenly get up and play such beautiful music.
Overall, I was very happy to be part of this event. Fabrizio has been organising a lot of themed events where he incorporates the colours and diversity of the world within his own Italian tradition. In these events, attendees could savour the finest Italian cuisine while immersing themselves in a variety of artistic programmes. The Italian Quarter Festa is one such event.
His past events include speaking about the origins of Rome at the National Library and Italian cuisine and language classes at various community centres across Singapore.He has also set up a social group for those who are interested in all things Italian, and we meet once a month to socialise, plan events, or rehearse songs to sing.
If you are interested in joining our activities, you can email The Italian Quarter at info@fabitalialifestyle, and like them on theirFacebook andInstagrampages.
Mami has been living and working in Singapore full-time for the past two years. While not blogging, Mami likes to learn a couple of foreign languages, cook different dishes from all over the world, and participating in dragon boat racing at Marina Bay.
3 July 2018 – In our efforts to share our love for Italian culture with a wider audience, we have partnered with the National Library Board to organise a series entitled Ciao! Hello from Italy! This consists of free workshops or demonstrations about different aspects of Italian culture.
In the July edition, we were honoured to collaborate with the Embassy of Italy in Singapore and Alce Nero, our co-sponsor, to bring Marco Luly (commedia dell’arte maestro) and Roger Jenkins (actor and story-teller) together to give the public a taste of commedia dell’arte at the Esplanade library.
The event started with a lecture-demonstration, with Jenkins vividly painting the origins of the art form. He then introduced some of the stock characters as Luly donned various masks, demonstrated the physical characteristics of the character, and interacted with Jenkins in order to give us a sense of the characters’ personalities.
Next, both performers gave the audience an insight into the improvisational process; something that the commedia dell’arte actors would have done back in the day. Once they have decided on the characters and the general situation, the scene started and both actors had to instinctively respond to each other.
To make things interesting, Jenkins donned wooden masks that he has collected across Southeast Asia to assume the various characters. While those masks would not have been in a traditional commedia dell’arte performance, it was lovely to see both artists from different traditions communicating and jointly entertaining the audience.
Additionally, they wittily added local references into their improvised skits, such as Jenkins playing Pantalone, a miserly merchant, whose wines are named after local landmarks, to make the audience laugh.
While it may seem odd at first, such a practice would not be out of place in the tradition. In fact, as Jennifer Meagher (Collection Management Specialist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) notes, “actors were at liberty to tailor a performance to their audience, allowing for sly commentary on current politics and bawdy humor that would otherwise be censored.”
The event ended with a little audience participation. Jenkins told a story about making soup, and whenever a new character was introduced, he picked an audience member who would then get a chance to wear a mask and assumed a character. While the simple story did not require much action from the participants, they got a chance to experience the physical requirements for mask work.
The audience clearly enjoyed themselves as many of them stayed behind to ask the performers some questions, while taking the opportunity to take some photos with the masks on.
Isaac Tan is the communications executive for FABItalia Lifestyle and The Italian Quarter. He is also a freelance actor, tutor, and independent theatre critic.