28 October 2020

28 October

NEW
- Battle of the Milvian Bridge in Rome

How Christianity became official religion of the Roman Empire

Roman emperor Constantine defeated his rival Maxentius in a battle at the Milvian Bridge (Ponte Milvio), a vital point for crossing the River Tiber, on this day in 312 in Rome. The battle was a crucial moment in a civil war that ended with Constantine I as sole ruler of the Roman Empire and Christianity established as the empire’s official religion. The Roman Empire was being torn apart by different factions at war with each other at the beginning of the fourth century.  Although Constantine - known also as Constantine the Great - was declared Emperor at York in 306, his brother in law and rival, Maxentius, later claimed the imperial title in Rome.  In 312, Constantine led a force to march on Rome. Troops fighting for Maxentius lay in wait for them next to the River Tiber at Pons Milvius (Ponte Milvio, which had been partially dismantled to stop the attacking force crossing the river).  It is said that Constantine had a dream before the battle and saw the sun, the object of his own worship, overlain by the figure of a cross. Beneath the cross was the message in hoc signo vinces (in this sign prevail).  Read more…

_____________________________________________________________

Eros Ramazzotti - singer-songwriter

Best-selling Italian star has enduring appeal

The best-selling Italian singer and songwriter Eros Ramazzotti was born on this day in 1963 in Rome.  Ramazzotti, whose style has developed from pure pop to a contemporary soft rock genre with elements of classical crossover, has sold around 65 million records in a career spanning almost 35 years, putting him among the top 12 Italian recording artists of all time.  He is popular throughout Europe and in Spanish-speaking countries in South America, so much so that he records most of his albums in Spanish as well as Italian.  Among his 13 studio albums, three compilations and six live albums, 12 have reached No 1 in the Italian charts and 10 in the Swiss charts.  In addition, Ramazzotti has had No 1s in Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Sweden.  Twice - with 9 in 2003 and e2 in 2007 – he sold more records in that year in Italy than any other artist.  Other major selling albums have been In ogni senso, Tutte storie, Dove c'è musica, Stilelibero and Calma apparente.  His appeal is said to stem from his unique voice - a vibrant, slightly nasal tenor – his energetic delivery of catchy pop numbers and the passion he brings to often semi-autobiographical ballads.  Read more…

____________________________________________________________

Sergio Tòfano – actor and illustrator

The many talents of stage and screen star

Comic actor, director, writer and illustrator Sergio Tòfano died on this day in 1973 in Rome.  He is remembered as an intelligent and versatile theatre and film actor and also as the creator of the much-loved cartoon character Signor Bonaventura, who entertained Italians for more than 40 years.  Tòfano was born in Rome in 1886, the son of a magistrate, and studied at the University of Rome and the Academy of Santa Cecilia. He made his first appearance on stage in 1909.  He soon specialised as a comic actor and worked with a string of famous directors including Luigi Almirante and Vittorio de Sica.  He became famous after his performance as Professor Toti in Luigi Pirandello’s comic play, Pensaci, Giacomino!   Also a talented artist and writer, Tòfano invented his cartoon character Signor Bonaventura for the children’s magazine, Il Corriere dei Piccoli, signing himself as Sto.  Signor Bonaventura made his first appearance in 1917. The character wore a red frock coat and a hat and his fans interpret him as showing how good people, despite making mistakes, can avoid the bad outcome they seem fated to experience, even in complicated situations.  Read more…

____________________________________________________________

Stefano Landi – composer

Musician whose works influenced development of opera

Stefano Landi, an influential early composer of opera, died on this day in 1639 in Rome.  He wrote his most famous opera, Sant’Alessio, in 1632, which was the earliest to be about a historical subject, describing the life of the fourth-century monastic, Saint Alexis.  It was also notable for Landi interspersing comic scenes drawn from the contemporary life of Rome in the 17th century.  Born in Rome, Landi had joined the Collegio Germanico as a boy soprano in 1595.  He took minor orders in 1599 and began studying at the Seminario Romano in 1602. He is mentioned in the Seminary’s records as being an organist and singer in 1611.  By 1618 he had moved to northern Italy and he published a book of five-voice madrigals in Venice. He wrote his first opera while in Padua, La morte d’Orfeo, which was probably for part of the festivities for a wedding.  In 1620 he returned to Rome, where his patrons included the Borghese family, Cardinal Maurizio of Savoy, and the Barberini family, who were to be his major employers throughout the late 1620s and 1630s.  It was for the Barberini family that he wrote the work for which he is most famous, Sant’Alessio. It was used to open the Teatro delle Quattro Fontane in 1632.  Read more…


Home 


No comments:

Post a comment