About the Speakers:
Snjezana Smodlaka, born in Croatia, holds a B.A. in Italian Literature and M.A. in Romance Philology from the University of Zagreb, Croatia; also M.A. and Ph.D. in Italian Literature from the Rutgers University. She worked as an Italian and Latin teacher in high school and as an adjunct professor at Wagner College, CSI, and The Rutgers University. She has published numerous articles on Italian language and literature and presented more than forty papers on international congresses in the United States, Croatia, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Austria. For the last two decades, she broadened her research on aesthetics and intersections between Italian literature, figurative arts, and opera. She is particularly committed to bringing back Italian Renaissance and Baroque women artists from centuries-old oblivion.
Louis Barrella has been a dedicated music educator for 50 years, specializing in Music and Opera Appreciation in schools and for many cultural organizations. He has presented workshops and organized student trips for the Education Department of the Metropolitan Opera for over 40 years, and continues to do so for senior students. Louis has been a guest lecturer at colleges, museums and cultural institutions throughout the metropolitan area and beyond, making 700 presentations since 1993. He also promotes Italian heritage with passion by presenting topics on the regions of Italy, the Neapolitan Presepio, La Festa di San Giuseppe, Carnevale di Venezia, and Pride in our Traditions.He is a Board Member of the Enrico Caruso Museum; a co-host at the Columbus Citizens’ Foundation Opera Nights; a regular presenter at the Mario Lanza Luncheons at the Garibaldi Meucci Museum; and at Casa Belvedere.