Dante Alighieri Society of Washington
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Ciao a tutti –

THE FIRST ITALIAN MEETING of the DANTE ALIGHIERI SOCIETY’S 2019-2020 PROGRAM YEAR IS THIS COMING WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 at St. Patrick’s Church, Social Hall, 815 East Edgar Street, Seattle 98102

The speaker is Robert Thomson from Victoria, Canada who will be presenting his recently published book “Florence, Dante and Me.” Thomson spent the 1960-61 year in Italy on a scholarship from the Italian government. During the year he wrote many detailed letters to his fidanzata in Canada, telling her about Italian customs and habits, the Italian friends he made, the cities he visited, the operas he attended, his singing lessons, etc. Early that year Thomson decided to speak Italian only for the whole year. This served him well throughout his life.

In 2017 he took the letters and photos and made them into a book. He will be reading passages from his book and showing some of the best photos. To read passages and see some of the photos visit Thomson’s site: www.godwinbooks.com

Robert Thomson was born in Vancouver, B.C. in 1940. He fell in love with Italian in 1951 when he saw “The Great Caruso” starring Mario Lanza at his local movie theater. In 1962 he took his B.A. in French and Italian at the University of British Columbia then received his PhD from Yale in 1966.

Thomson had a long and varied career in teaching (e.g. The University of Toronto, The University of Illinois and various high schools). He took early retirement in 1995.

His main books are: “Italian for the Opera” (1990) and “Operatic Italian” (2009). Both books use extracts from operas to illustrate their language points; Thomson’s main goal was to analyze them in detail to show the richness of Italian librettos. The reader will also find chapters such as “What is lost in the translation?”; “How do you appreciate a libretto?”; “The influence of Dante”; and “A quick look at Neapolitan.” In 2015 Thomson published “Love Songs in Spanish” which comes with a CD and is useful as a tool to improve pronunciation.

At the moment he is finishing a book on how to teach English using audio-visual tools and multi-media sources. He now lives in Victoria, B.C. Asked who his favorite Italian authors are, Thomson replied “Dante and Alberto Moravia.”

MEETING DETAILS

As usual, the evening will begin with food and conversation at 6:30. There is no cost for the meeting, but you are encouraged to bring along an antipasto, dolce or vino to share. The presentation which will be mainly in Italian will start at 7:30.

The meeting will take place in the Parish Social Hall at St. Patrick’s Church, 815 East Edgar Street, on the North side of Capitol Hill.

Parking is available in St. Patrick’s parking lot, off of E. Edgar street. The meetings take place in the Parish Hall, located in the basement of the church and is entered on the West side of the church from the parking lot.

To reach St Patrick’s from the North, follow I-5 S. Take exit 168A for Boylston Ave toward Roanoke St. Merge onto Boylston, turn left at light onto E Roanoke St. Turn left at the first cross street onto Harvard Ave E. and then take the first right onto E. Edgar Street.

To reach St. Patrick’s from the South, follow I-5 N. Take exit 168A for Lakeview Blvd E. Turn left onto Lakeview Blvd E, and continue onto Boylston Ave E. Turn right at the light onto E Roanoke St. Turn left at the first cross street onto Harvard Ave. E. and then take the first right onto E. Edgar Street..

Feel free to come early to help set up the room and start visiting. And, in any case, please come.

A presto –

Dan DeMatteis,

President, Dante Alighieri Society of Washington

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Laura Ciroi

Laura CiroiLaura Ciroi has been teaching with the Italian language program of the Dante Alighieri Society of Washington since 2003. She was born in Palmanova, in Northern Italy, a star shaped fortress built by the Serenissima Republic of Venice to protect the territory from the invasions of the Hapsburg and the Ottoman Empires. She was raised speaking Italian, French and Friulano (her native Northern Italian dialect). Laura received a Laurea in Linguistics from the Università di Udine where she specialized in Spanish and English literature. Since then she has lived and worked in Holland, Switzerland, Spain, England, America, and Italy.

Giuseppe Tassone moved to Seattle from Italy in 1993. He has been the director of the Italian Language Program of the Dante Alighieri Society of Washington since 1998 and the PLIDA coordinator since 2011. He is a language educator, coordinator, and advocate of Italian language and culture. He has a background in economics and finance (B.A. in Economics), but chooses to specialize in Italian language and culture  (M.A. in Italian Studies). He has 20+ years of experience teaching, developing curricula, coordinating, testing, and assessing in public and non-profit organizations (e.g. Seattle University, University of Washington, Shoreline College). Giuseppe reviewed and/or contributed to several Italian language textbooks, such as Da Capo, Oggi in Italia, Avanti, Piazza and Sentieri. He is the author of Ricordati di me,  Buongiorno Notte – Italian Films Series by Edizioni Farinelli and Un buon AffareItalian for Business by Hackett Publishing Company available in print (2016) and e-book (2019). Giuseppe teaches at Seattle University and heads the Italian Section in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures. Personal interests are: reading, traveling, cinema, economics, politics, playing and listening to music, swimming, biking, gardening and cooking.

 

E-mail: tassone@danteseattle.org

Francesca Giambartolomei

Francesca GiambartolomeiFrancesca is an Italian native, born in Cremona, northern Italy. She holds a laurea in Biology from the University of Padua and Masters of Biology from Eastern Michigan University. She left Italy in 1994 and has lived in New Zealand and the United States. She has a passion for teaching her native language, as a way of maintaining and exploring the Italian language and culture with different eyes. She has taught privately and in many institutions to students of different proficiency levels groups. Francesca is interested in literature, art and design, and in her free time, she likes reading, cooking, and making jewelry and ceramics.

Email: francesca@danteseattle.org

Damiano Pinton

Damiano PintonDamiano is a native of a small town in the Northern Italy countryside, about 17 miles away from Padua, a city famous among other things for its university, the fifth-oldest surviving in the world. He received his B.A. and M.A. Cum Laude in Japanese language and culture from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, while specializing in linguistics and translation. He lived in Japan for three and a half years, where he continued his studies and his sociolinguistic research on (im)politeness in language. While in Japan, he also started working as an Italian teacher, discovering his passion for conveying the beauty of the Italian language and culture abroad.

Email: damiano@danteseattle.org

Roberta Punzi

Roberta PunziRoberta was born in Salerno a city located in the region of Campania in Southern Italy where in the ninth century flourished the renowned Schola Medica Salernitana; the forerunner of the modern university medical schools.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and Management for Arts, Culture, Media and Entertainment from the Luigi Bocconi University, and a Master’s Degree in Piano from the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory of Music in Milan.  Roberta has been working in the field of arts management since 2008. She has served as a project manager, fundraiser and arts administrator in high-profile nonprofit organizations and music festivals in Italy.  She has taught music and Italian language in middle schools, and has held lectures in performing arts management as a teaching assistant at the University of Milan and at the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala.  She has performed many solo and chamber music recitals across Italy.  Roberta moved to Seattle from Italy in 2018, and in March 2019 she started working with Greenpeace U.S.A. as a fundraiser.  She loves classical music, visual arts, reading, traveling, hiking and of course teaching Italian.

E-mail: roberta@danteseattle.org

Valentina Robles

Valentina RoblesValentina was born in Bitonto, a small town in Puglia, South of Italy. She has a Laurea in Lettere (Degree in Humanities) and a Laurea Specialistica in Scienze dello spettacolo e della produzione multimediale (Master degree in Media Studies). During her studies, she spent seven months in Spain where she was a tutor for Spanish students enrolled in Italian classes. Her passion for the theatre and cinema brought her to work in the production department for several projects for media, theatre, and live concerts.

Email: valentina@danteseattle.org