Two hundred people gathered in Douglas Library, as part of the city-wide Culture Night, to enjoy an evening of Italian song, language and food. “We expected thirty or forty,” said Cherie O’Sullivan, Douglas Library, ‘we counted in 201 people. That’s an amazing turnout.”
And what a night it was. Grabbing chairs from where we could find them, we seated ourselves in a bunch in the middle of the room. To our right Tony O’Brien, a local baritone from Ballincollig sang some old favourites from the Italian repertoire. He gave powerful rendition of ‘O Sole Mio towards the end. This was interspersed by Fergal Kavanagh at the front, who taught us Italian through song, while on the left Fabio and Claudio, from the Cork Italian Language and Cooking School, distributed slices of Tiramisu to keep us going. And this was seriously good Tiramisu.
Fergal, a native of Cork, teaches English in Napoli, where he uses songs (Tune into English) as his material. He designed a ‘Tune into Italian‘ for the night. A simple idea, but combine his enthusiasm and you have a powerful mix.
He started us off with phrases we knew from English songs -from Mama Mia to, Buona Sera by Van Morrison, to That’s Amore. And who knew that pasta fazul was pasta with beans?
Now we were ready to take on songs in Italian, Volere Volare, Io Ti Amo, Ciao Mama. On the way we learned the difference between Ti Amo and Ti Voglio Bene, the first for a lover, the other for everyone else. And a tip, Jovanotti (Ciao Mama) is where to start, he uses simple Italian and speaks clearly.
And then it was over to Fabio and Claudio’s table to finish off what was left on the plates.