This film aims to reveal how the influence of opera can be found seated at the very heart of the Italian-American imaginary.
The film will paint a picture of how opera has been fundamental in forging the collective imagination of the Italian-American community since their arrival in the New World at the end of the 19th century. The film will relive the community’s fascination with opera and its influence on the collective Italian-American psyche by means of anecdotes and memories. These testimonies, collected from various emblematic Italian- American figures, give a snapshot into the lives of classical conductors, opera singers, actors and film directors. Each one of these artists has been brought up in the presence of opera in their life, this heritage influencing their musical, artistic and dramatic careers. If one can state that America has forged its own collective identity depicting a nation, a people and a common destiny, it is perhaps largely thanks to cinema, the western in particular. The specific characteristic of the Italian community in the United States is the fact that it has reconstituted its creative roots from the world of opera: its situations and its heroes, both real and imaginary.
This film shall present a lyrical exploration of this community through photos, film extracts, archived images and music clips which shall be revisited by the real life Italian American cinematic and operatic heroes of our time, notably Martin Scorsese, and Roberto Alagna. The commentaries of Janice Mancini Del Sesto, Tony Amato, Vincent La Selva and Michael Capasso shall also participate in this story.