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Opera Singer AnnaMaria Cardinalli Comes to Eastern

Published on September 23, 2015

Opera Singer AnnaMaria Cardinalli Comes to Eastern

Eastern Connecticut State University’s Intercultural Center opened Hispanic Heritage Month this school year with world class opera singer, guitarist and recording artist AnnaMaria Cardinalli, who performed in the Student Center Café on Sept. 17.

“We really wanted to expand the depth of our programs beyond the traditional lecture style to bring creativity, flexibility and more inclusion to our programs,” said Eastern’s Intercultural Center’s Coordinator Kemesha Wilmot. “We are hoping that this type of relaxed and entertaining program will encourage students and staff to explore cultures outside of their own.”

Cardinalli’s operatic performance offered stunning virtuosity on the Spanish guitar. Bringing the darkness and sensuality of the contralto voice to her performance, Cardinalli’s one- hour performance followed a timeline through the history of Hispanic culture, predominantly focusing on the history of Northern Mexico. Her performance, which consisted of a combination of story-telling and song, captured the local legends, music and poetry found in Northern Mexico.

“Spanish music typically has a sense of sadness, lament, and loss” said Cardinalli. “When the Spanish Inquisition occurred, people lost part of themselves. Their families as well as their culture were ripped away from them and that is what caused the longing that you hear is Spanish music.”

By the end of her program Cardinalli captured the shift in Hispanic music from a sad sound to the well-recognized upbeat style. “Spanish music took a turn of intense adventure as the Spanish sacrificed everything in order to lead new lives, building the courage to travel away from war and oppression,” said Cardinalli.

Liberal Studies major Melissa Ciezynski ’17 was one of the students who watched the program. “I was just sitting here studying in between my classes and she started playing. It was so relaxing and beautiful I decided to stay and ended up learning a lot about Hispanic culture that I never knew before,” said Ciezynski. “I don’t really know a lot about other cultures other than European so this has been really wonderful for me to learn about a different culture other than my own.”

Cardinalli’s moving musical performance aided the Intercultural Center is its goal of incorporating music into all of the events in Hispanic Heritage Month. “Events like this one break down the stereotypes of Hispanic culture and help to unify and inform our campus community,” said Wilmot. “It is beautiful to see how different cultures influence each other as well as how they are intertwined. Having AnnaMaria here helped us celebrate that.”

Written by Jolene Potter

Categories: Music, Arts