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Entertainment Profiles

Fiercely vocal – Chiara Civello returns to musical roots with show in Boston

Chiara Civello - A native of Rome, the singer-songwriter launched her career over a decade ago in Boston, where she shared an apartment with Tony Bennett’s daughter Antonia.

Chiara Civello will be performing at Scullers Jazz Club on Oct. 14, as part of the Sounds of Italy Festival. Chiara Civello doesn’t know how to stay still. The young Italian singer-songwriter has been traveling the world ever since the age of 18, when she took her bags and left her native Rome to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston. “It’s a place that has given me so much,” she tells us in an exclusive interview. “I used to sing in all the North End restaurants with my ‘sister’ Antonia Bennett.” That’s right. Civello and Bennett — the daughter ...

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‘Sax Doctor’ Emilio Lyons

Emilio Lyons repairing a saxophone (photo courtesy fetch.com)

Day in and day out, for 55 years, he could be found at Rayburn Musical Instrument Store, just steps from Symphony Hall. There, at his workbench, Emilio Lyons spent his time repairing saxophones and clarinets for everyone from unknown students to the world’s biggest stars. Somewhere along the way, his careful, meticulous work even earned him the moniker ‘The Sax Doctor’ and a Lifetime Achievement Award from DownBeat Magazine. Still, when Emilio, now 79, arrived in the United States as a 17-year-old immigrant from the small town of Castelcivita in Salerno, he could have hardly imagined the path that lay ...

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Radio broadcaster Ron Della Chiesa


For decades, people in the Boston area and beyond have welcomed Ron Della Chiesa into their homes — every Saturday at 8 p.m. to be exact. That’s when they turn their radios — and now, their Internet browsers — to 99.5, to listen in as he broadcasts live from Symphony Hall, transmitting the “electric” atmosphere inside the building through radio waves and out to the world. “I try to bring the enthusiasm of a sporting event into what I do on the radio,” he says, adding that a great performance by the Symphony Orchestra or Pops is, for him, much ...

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Under the Tuscan Sun with Frances Mayes


Frances Mayes is best known for her memoirs about life as an expatriate in Tuscany, including, of course, Under the Tuscan Sun, the wildly popular book that tells her story of buying and renovating an abandoned villa in the town of Cortona. After publishing six more books about Italy, among other work, Mayes is back with Under Magnolia, a new autobiography about her childhood in the American South. We caught up with her to talk about her love for Tuscany, her newest book and why she’s recently ventured into the world of wine. Of all the regions in Italy, why ...

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Abstract artist Ellen Rolli


Ellen Rolli and her husband had just returned from a two-week vacation in Italy, where they split their time between the cities of Florence and Venice. It wasn't intended as a work trip for Rolli, who is a painter, but when she returned to her South End studio, it just happened – images of Italy appeared on her canvases.

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Renée Ricciardi: Capturing Italy’s beekeeping community


Last August, Renée Ricciardi bought a one-way ticket to Italy, packed a suitcase and her camera gear, and traveled across the Atlantic with one goal in mind: photographing bees. For most people, it would be an odd reason to visit Italy, but for Ricciardi, it fit perfectly. The project united her photography studies – she graduated from Massachusetts College of Art just a few months prior – with her beekeeping hobby and love for Italy. The idea to undertake such work came together organically over the period of a couple years. In 2011, just as Ricciardi started beekeeping in her ...

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Hitting the Right Note: Federico Cortese on his 15 years with the BYSO

Federico Cortese conducting Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras in October 2012 at Symphony Hall. Photo by Michael J. Lutch

Over the last 15 years, under the leadership of Federico Cortese, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra has grown tremendously. The list of accomplishments includes new ensembles, record numbers of applicants, a community outreach program, overseas tours and exciting partnerships. For Cortese, though, it’s all just part of the job. “I can talk for a long time of all the things that we have created and improved and strengthened — but I think that that’s what one needs to do,” he says, humbly. “I’m happy because we have all worked very hard and the institution has grown, as an institution is ...

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Boston Ballet’s Petra Conti and Eris Nezha


The couple moved to Boston in November, leaving the ballet company of Milan's famous Teatro alla Scala to join Boston Ballet as principal dancers.

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Women of the World Brings Together International Musical Talent

Women of the World - photo courtesy Shuhei Teshima

Our interview with Boston-based group Women of the World. Italian vocalist Giorgia Renosto is part of the ensemble. Can you tell us how and when this project started? Was it the idea of one member or a collective effort from the start? Women of the World first began as a single idea from Japanese vocalist, Ayumi Ueda. It was her childhood dream to meet and perform with people from all over the world. When she began studying at Berklee College of Music, this vision was still strong in her heart. In 2008, she formed Women of the World, collaborating with ...

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Through a daughter’s eyes: A conversation with Marina Viola

Marina Viola (photo courtesy daringtodo.com

“I don’t even consider myself a writer,” Marina Viola told me over the phone in November, just weeks before she set off to Italy for another round of speaking engagements to promote her book, “Mio padre è stato anche Beppe Viola.” Despite her humble attitude, there’s no denying that Marina has earned her writer’s badge, at least in my mind. After all, she spent two years working on her memoir at home in Cambridge, finding time to write whenever she wasn’t occupied with her duties as a full-time mom of three, including caring for her eldest son, who has autism ...

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MaidenItaly Bring 1930s Italian Swing to Boston Area


Boston is quickly becoming home to a number of excellent Italian musicians and artists. Among them, a new trio focusing on 1930s Italian swing is ready to make its debut on Nov. 20 at Cambridge’s Ryles Jazz Club. Here is our exclusive interview with the group: Who are MaidenItaly, and how did you meet? MaidenItaly are Marta Rainoldi, Giorgia Renosto and Mariana J Rigel. We are all Berklee College of Music alumni, and initially connected through the large Beklee community of fellow musicians and friends. While we had been throwing around the idea of founding MaidenItaly for a while, Mariana’s ...

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The Art of Food and Drink at The International Poster Gallery


Italian food and drink is often on display along Newbury Street, but starting October 1 you’ll be able to see it in a new light. The International Poster Gallery is hosting an exhibition dedicated to cuisine that is entitled Posters a la Carte: The Art of Food and Drink, on display through November 22. The new exhibit presents the development of the food and drink industry through posters, covering the period from the Belle Époque to the 1960s and including iconic brands from around the globe, including the likes of Barilla and Campari. For gallery owner Jim Lapides, the decision ...

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