Sicilian Opera Choir: Reason Enough to Visit Italy
International Opera Awards Winner
The Sicilian Opera Choir of Italy, winner of the International Opera Awards in 2017, is a reality that has established itself in the music, theatre, opera, and symphonic scene over the past few years.
The particular care of vocality and taste as well as the versatility of the organic components, allow the choir to face both the refined and demanding symphonic and sacred repertoire along with the robust traditional lyric collection.
Made up of choir artists from all over Sicily, the Sicilian Opera Choir performs concerts, shows, and operas with excellent public and critical success and is regularly enrolled in theatres at the national and international level. The intense concert activity is combined with culture making it a powerful work of research, enhancement, and export of Sicilian art which has been undertaken within the country and beyond as well as rediscovery of the most important Sicilian authors with the execution of lesser-known works and unpublished works by P. Mandanici, P. Vinci, G. Pacini, V. Moscuzza, FP Neglia, A. Pepoli (“Mercedes” work made in the world premiere), V. Bellini (in particular “Zaira” with the extraordinary participation of some interpreters of the original cast of the world premiere of 1976, and some sacred works of the Bellini youth period: The pastoral litanies to the Virgin; the Tantum ergo and parents, etc). Di Zaira edited the philological version for the “Bellini Festival” presented in Catania at the Greek Roman Theater in September 2012.
The President, Alberto Munafo, was awarded, among others, with the International Sicily Prize “Il Paladino” on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary, the Belliniano Prize 2015, the Prize of the Academy of Fine Arts of Catania, Ambassador of Belcanto Prize 2016, and in 2017 he was awarded in China with the International Opera Awards – Oscar della Lirica – during an event broadcast by Chinese state television in front of a billion-and-a-half spectators.
He has collaborated, among others, with the Massimo Vincenzo Bellini Theater (Catania), the Municipal Theater of Bologna, the Sicilian Symphony Orchestra, the International Music Festival of Macao – China, the Chinese Opera Festival (Tianjin, Harbin, Xiamen, Canton, Nanjing, etc.), the Orchestra national d’Île de France, etc., in the field of sacred music with the International Week of Sacred Music of Monreale (Plermo).
He has participated in several events broadcast by the BBC and RAI worldwide. He has been the protagonist of the works broadcast live by the Ancient Theater of Taormina all over the world through the RAI channels (RAIUNO and Rai5), SKY, and the Microcinema circuit in over 700 cinemas worldwide.
He has collaborated, among others, with Joseè Carreras, Daniela Dessi, Fabio Armiliato, Gregory Kunde, Marcello Giordani, Steven Mercurio, Giuliano Carella, Luciana Serra, Lucia Aliberti, Fiorenza Cossotto, Liu Jia, Marius Stravinsky, Choir of the Sistine Chapel, Donato Renzetti, Franco Zeffirelli, Grisha Asagaroff, Ralf Weikert, and Andrea Bocelli.
In 2017, he inaugurated the Harbin Opera House in China with a New Year’s Eve gala with special participation of tenor José Carreras.
Numerous opera theaters opened in the Asian world: in 2018 it inaugurated the Nanjing Theater, the Fonshan Theater, and the Anshan Theater.
Since 2019, it organized the Festival dei Teari di Pietra which unites the 3 main theaters of Sicilian antiquity: the ancient theater of Taormina, the Greek theater of Syracuse, and the Greek theater of Tindari dating from III to IV BC.
From 2018, it also organized the prestigious Giuseppe di Stefano International Award which is bestowed upon important artists of the international opera scene (among others are Cecilia Gasdia, Jessica Pratt, Nicola Martinucci, Giovanna Casolla, etc.).
Prestigious prizes and awards, sponsorships from the highest offices of the state, and collaborations with some of the most important conductors, directors, and artists on the world scene, are some of the objectives achieved by what is now considered one of the most renowned choral bodies at the international level, and is an ambassador of Italian and European culture and a standard bearer of the artistic heritage of this beautiful country and of the eternal Bellini melody in the world.