Imagine how beautiful it would be if international differences between peoples of different cultures were reconfigured through music. With Imagine, John Lennon formulated his philosophy of peace to fight the Vietnam War.
More than 40 years after recording one of the most representative songs in history, a young Sakale opera singer, Valentina Volpe Andreza, has started a project that translates into exercising hope in a world of world peace through music.
Valentina is in fact the founder of “Music4Diplomacy”, a project that aims to propose music as a tool for dialogue for international relations, and to search for the roots of European and non-European peoples who, through music, are rediscovering their culture. Despite the diversity, all peoples share some cultural and musical aspects, which should establish the path of participation for a peaceful dialogue.
He explains that the principle of Music4Diplomacy is simple. In the context of European and international diplomatic conferences, in which a specific topic is discussed, the musical break is inserted as a promoter of a cultural message, thus moving away from the logic of pure musical entertainment, which is an end in itself. The choice of musical repertoire depends on the specific topic to be dealt with in the context of this decision-making and which can be beneficial to those who have to make decisions, given the influence of music and art on people’s emotional intelligence. It is a moment of reflection, passion and inspiration for the diplomatic representatives participating in the conference themselves. ”
Valentina Volpi Andresa is an opera artist of international standing. He lives between Milan and Brussels, where he collaborates with European institutions on cultural diplomacy. She studied in Milan at the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala, which she collaborates with today as director of the Children’s Choir, as part of the social inclusion project “Choir in the City”.
But his music career went hand in hand with his college career. In fact, he obtained a degree in political science from Padua, the international diplomatic branch, and dreamed of one day being able to fulfill his desire to unify music and culture with the world of international relations. In her own way, even without competing for a diplomatic career, Valentina became an ambassador for music and cultural diplomacy.
From Europe to the project
The two tracks, which dissipated parallel, at a certain point meet. The performance begins in Brussels for many European institutions, such as the Alpine Convention, the Embassy of Italy in the Kingdom of Belgium, the European Parliament, and the Economic and Social Committee.
Meanwhile, Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy until 2019, stresses that culture is one of the pillars to be followed in relations between European and non-European countries. This is the context in which the young woman from Sakale plays “Music4Diplomacy”.
A project that has met with widespread
The message of multiculturalism promoted by Music4Diplomacy seeks to create a network of musicians who, united in the same cause, develop this sensitivity: to create increasingly suitable music programs to get a message across. “It was amazing – and he follows – the sentiments when I was tasked with organizing the cultural / musical moment for the General Conference of the European Economic and Social Committee, in the presence of President Luca Jahir, President of the European Commission Juncker and activist Greta Thomberg, who was then still little known here in Italy.”
Volpi Andresa and his colleagues presented two unpublished syllables by composer Marco Casovi, “Jovona” and “Vitruvian Europe” of the quadruple, the bassoon. And two dancers who danced among the EESC’s 400 members. “Euphonìa was successful for the team. I participated in it by gathering a team of creative people around me, in response to a European call from the European Nostra Association, which urged young Europeans to re-interpret Beethoven’s poem as a hymn of joy. We have reinterpreted it in the key to the Renaissance. Our contribution was successful and was received with enthusiasm. ”
The Future: “In the Footsteps of Europe”
In the plans of the singer there are now two projects. The first is titled “On the Path of Europe”, the legendary journey to Europe. The beautiful Phoenician princess, who was kidnapped from the shores of Sidon in Lebanon, by the god Zeus, who turned into a white bull, will lead her to Crete. Its name will travel from Lebanon to Greece, then along the Balkans and even the West, through different countries, cities, traditions and peoples, united in diversity, will revive the continent called Europe.
During his voyage in the Mediterranean, Europe, he will be intertwined with Syria and Partenope, the sirens belonging to Eastern and Greek myths, the gods of the sea and the founders of societies, in the Middle East as in Naples. The melodies of the Balkans and Central Europe, Klizmir and Ratantilla are some of the components of this journey: the cultured and popular music, ancient and modern, tells about a universe from Beirut, through Vienna, reaching the Caspian Sea. The lands always inhabited and crossed by people whose vitality and passion have produced masterpieces, contradictions, great ideas and tragic struggles. The Orthodox Greeks, the Jews, the Gypsies, the Kurds, the Turks, the Armenians, the Azeris and the Arabs in a crucible still brewing, and still traces of the history uniting the peoples of the Mediterranean and Central Europe.
Educational project in Milan
The other project is instead linked to the educational sector, along with the Accademia Teatro alla Scala in Milan. “Given the multicultural origins of the young dancers in a children’s choir – Volpi Andresa explains – this is a great opportunity to experience the importance of discovering and telling choir members about their origins. I want children to get to know each other through music, which is why I ask each of them to come to class with a song They hear her singing in the family. ‘
In this way, it will be possible to discover and rediscover songs from Italian folklore and other cultures that arrived in Milan, from Egypt to Peru, and from Argentina to China. Thus children will learn to listen to each other, recognize words and sounds different from those they indulge in every day, and learn to know each other and respect each other. Because the children’s language is pure and free from prejudice. “Singing in a choir – he concludes – teaches collective action, where the individual is not the one who wins and dominates the other, but rather is everyone’s complicity and commitment for a common goal: singing as one great voice, united in diversity, as the slogan of the European Union says.”
Evan B. Zabio
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