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Christmas Concert at Sacred Heart Church

The North End was all wrapped up in the holiday spirit on Dec. 4, as the first annual Christmas concert, featuring Italian songs and arias, took place at Sacred Heart Church.

Presented by the Consulate General of Italy in Boston and the Boston Conservatory, the concert featured professor Patty Thom on piano and 20 freshmen students from the conservatory, each performing a different vocal masterpiece.

“This great event started like many: by chance,” said Consul General of Italy Giuseppe Pastorelli, referring to a meeting held several months before with poet and playwright Walter Valeri, a Boston Conservatory faculty member and one of the event’s main organizers.

In front of a standing-room only crowd, Pastorelli also announced plans to open an Italian Cultural Center in the North End, a project the Consulate has been working toward for more than a year.

After Pastorelli, Patty Thom introduced her students, who performed arias and songs that ranged from Baroque composer Antonio Cesti to the 19th-century maestro Gioacchino Rossini, as well as Donizetti, Handel, Mozart, Scarlatti, Donaudy and many others.

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