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WISH YOU WERE HERE (Vorrei Fossi Qui): An online musical homage dedicated to Italian Heritage Month



WISH YOU WERE HERE (Vorrei Fossi Qui): An online musical homage dedicated to Italian Heritage Month


An online musical homage dedicated to

Italian Heritage Month

Friday, June 12 | 8:00pm EDT


Due to the global health crisis, this year the Italian Canadian community cannot celebrate Italian Heritage Month in June with its usual array of live, in-person events, festivals and concerts. We will all miss the opportunity to gather and celebrate Italian heritage while enjoying music, cinema, food, and good company. It is especially difficult as our thoughts go to Italy, one of the hardest-hit countries by the pandemic.

Instead, to celebrate Italian Heritage Month 2020, an online tribute concert will take place on June 12 via the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Toronto’s YouTube Channel. Vorrei fossi qui – Wish you were here will feature some of the best local Italian Canadian musical talent, performing a variety of genres and styles. The concert will feature a line-up of all-female artists.

The event is a collaborative effort between a number of Italian Canadian and Italian organizations, including the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Toronto, the National Italian Canadian Congress, the Italian Heritage Month Foundation, ComItEs, Associazione Amarcord, and Villa Charities Inc.


Elisa Citterio | Violin - Artistic Director Tafelmusik

Romina Di Gasbarro | Singer/Songwriter

Daniela Nardi | Singer/Songwriter

Sara Papini | Soprano

Andrea Ramolo | Singer/Songwriter


The brilliant violinist Elisa Citterio joined Tafelmusik as Music Director in 2017. She moved to Toronto from her native Italy, where she divided her artistic life between orchestral work and an intense schedule as a chamber musician. She has recorded and toured, often as leader or concertmaster, with such ensembles as Dolce & Tempesta, Europa Galante, Accademia Bizantina, Accordone, Zefiro, la Venexiana, La Risonanza, Ensemble 415, Concerto Italiano, Orquestra del Monsalvat, Il Giardino Armonico, Orchestra Academia 1750, and Balthasar-Neumann Choir & Ensemble (Thomas Hengelbrock). From 2004 to 2017 she was a member of the Orchestra del Teatro della Scala di Milano. Just 18 months into her new position at Tafelmusik, she was awarded 2019 Leonardo Award for Arts, Science & Culture by the Italian Chamber of Commerce for her contribution to the cultural and intellectual life of Canada. North American orchestras have taken note, and upcoming appearances as guest director include Seattle Symphony, the Artosphere Festival in Arkansas, and Québec's Les Violons du Roy.


Romina Di Gasbarro‘s trajectory as a singer and musician is an adventurous pilgrimage of the musical heart. Nursed on Italian music, raised on rock and soul, trained in classical guitar, initiated into jazz, studied new-music composition, and developed into an opera singer, this artist matured into a creative singer-songwriter of serious genre-bending, creative proportions. From this personal perspective, Romina looks forward to new ground with lyricism and poetry, creating her own path as a music artist beyond categories. Romina has been a regular performer in Toronto since 2004 in venues such as: Heliconian Hall, Glenn Gould Studio, Koerner Hall, Hugh’s Room, Supermarket, Wychwood Barns, Lula Lounge, The Music Gallery and many more. Music festivals include Luminato Festival, TD Downtown Jazz Festival, The CNE International Festival, Young Centre Global Cabaret Festival, NXNE, and Indie Music Week. Romina’s has shared the stage and studio with JUNO celebrated artists from both the classical and jazz worlds such as: Andrew Downing, Roberto Occhipinti, Elmer Ferrer, Christine Bougie, David Occhipinti, Julia Wedman, Aisslinn Nosky, Karen Moffatt, Carina Reeves, Larnell Lewis, Ben Grossman, Jean Martin, Barry Romberg, Blaire Mackay, and Davide Di Renzo.


Coffee is a stimulant. Art is stimulating. Singer/Songwriter Daniela Nardi is a blend of both. Espresso Manifesto is her caffeinated lovechild of global music scenes that fuses traditional and contemporary sounds with seamless ease. From Montreal to Moscow and many places in between, Ms. Nardi’s Espresso Manifesto has performed to worldwide sold out audiences in prestigious music halls such as Koerner Hall and Tchaikovsky Hall and festivals such as the Montreal Jazz Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe. She has received numerous awards such as Best Female Vocalist for Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards and NOW Magazine Best of Toronto Awards, Best Group Nominee Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards and Best Group Nominee Toronto Independent Music Awards. Nardi is especially dedicated to helping Toronto’s considerable Italian population find representation on stages, galleries and screen. She is the CEO / Founding Artistic Director of Salone di Cultura and has served as Cultural Director for Toronto’s Columbus Centre, after having served as Chair of Culture for the Villa Charities board. She currently is the Executive/Artistic Director of 918 Bathurst Centre for Culture, Arts, Media & Education and sits on the board of directors for Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, SING! Vocal Arts Festival and on the advisory board for the Prism Music Video Prize. Daniela’s discography includes 4 recordings, 2 of which were recorded in Italy: One True Thing (2004), The Rose Tattoo (2008), The Songs of Paolo Conte (2011) and CANTO (2015).


International opera singer Sara Papini has graced stages around Canada, the United States, Italy, France, Israel and Russia. Her operatic roles include both Mimi and Musetta from La Boheme, Adina from L'Elisir d'Amore, Donna Anna from Don Giovanni, Norina from Don Pasquale, Gilda from Rigoletto and most recently Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow with Opera York. She made her New York city debut in the role of Tina in Jonathan Dove's Flight, a New York city premier, conducted by Metropolitan Opera conductor Joseph Colaneri. She has also performed under the baton of Metropolitan Opera conductor Paul Nadler in New York, Montreal, Virgina and in Tel Aviv, Israel with the Israeli Chamber Orchestra. Along side her operatic success, Ms. Papini has had the opportunity to branch into the crossover industry. She has sung with legendary tenor Albano Carrisi at Casino Rama and performed with him in Rome Italy on RAI television as well as surrounding tour locations. She is a JUNO nominee for her operatic vocal contribution to the EP Track entitled "Black Tuxedo" by rapper Maestro Fresh Wes. In 2017, Ms. Papini opened her own music school in Nobleton Ontario, Aria School of Music where she amongst other faculty members teaches voice and piano.


Andrea Ramolo is a songwriter, recording artist, dancer, educator, radio host, and cultural enthusiast who has been passionately working for the past few years to preserve and celebrate our Italian culture via various events, initiatives, and within the body of her work as an artist. She is a multiple Canadian Folk Music Award nominee and just received a nomination this year for Contemporary Singer of the Year for her latest record HOMAGE which honours songs by the late and great Leonard Cohen, produced by Michael Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies. Her 2017 double album NUDA, also produced by Michael Timmins, got her a mention on that year's prestigious Polaris Prize longer list. Andrea has had the pleasure of touring national and internationally across Canada numerous times, and in Europe and the United States. She has shared the stage with Gordon Lightfoot, Ron Sexsmith, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, Adam Cohen and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, and more. Andrea is also the host of the radio program Vintage Italy wth Andrea Ramolo on ITOC Italian Radio and runs a blog called the Vintage Italian where she connects with members of our community via cuisine, music, art, folklore, and traditions in order to continue fostering the conversation of what it means to be Italian-Canadian. A television show is in the works.


Date: Friday, June 12, 2020

Time: At 8:00 pm

Organized by : Istituto Italiano di Cultura Toronto | Villa Charities Inc.

In collaboration with : National Italian Canadian Congress | Italian Heritage Month Foundation | ComItEs | Associazione Amarcord

Entrance : Free


Online via YouTube