The Conference Papers on the opera Winona by Alberto Bimboni, presented in the ICAMus Session at the conference "Intersections/Intersezioni" 2017 (Florence, Kent State University - Florence Program, June 1st, 2017, Profs. Fulvio Santo Orsitto and Simona Wright, Directors) are published (PDF), Edited by Aloma Bardi. Essays by Davide Ceriani, Alexandra Monchick, Barbara Boganini, and Aloma Bardi; forthcoming essay by Gretchen Peters. The articles are illustrated with rare images from the ICAMus Bimboni Collection, and from other archives.
DISCOVER THIS FASCINATING, UNIQUE AMERICAN OPERA. PLEASE VIEW, READ & DOWNLOAD THE ICAMus PUBLICATION, ACCESSIBLE ON THIS PAGE.
(In the photo below) Soprano Minna Pelz as Winona, during rehearsals for the opera premiere in Portland, OR, Nov. 11, 1926. Article from The Sunday Oregonian, Portland, OR, October 31, 1926; in Alberto Bimboni’s Scrap Book, The ICAMus Archive; gift of Julia Jacobs (1922-2014). Ms. Pelz was renowned as “Portland’s Own Prima Donna.” She was also the director of her chorus, the Minna Pelz Singers.
At the intersection of Italian Opera and Native-American motifs and music, Winona is an unpublished opera in three acts (c. 1915-1918) by Florentine-American composer and conductor, Alberto Bimboni (Florence 1882 - New York 1960) to a libretto by Perry S. Williams.
Winona was performed in the US in 1926 and 1928 to great success and critical acclaim. Since the 1700s, the prominent Bimboni musical family had played an important role both in Italy and in the US, as inventors, composers, conductors, and teachers.
A copy of the manuscript score of Winona and the unique Winona-related Scrap Book were donated to the ICAMus Archive in 2014 by a friend of the Bimboni family, Ms. Julia Jacobs (1922-2014).
Winona tells the story, from a Sioux legend, of a Dakota Indian princess and her relationship to the laws of her people. The locations of Lake Pepin (Minnesota and Wisconsin) and Maiden Rock still resonate with the Winona legend. In this opera, Native American traditional chants, Chippewa and Sioux songs, Moccasin, war and hunting songs are woven into the story and the score.
Committed to “authenticity”, and in order to respect the Indian musical traditions, Bimboni composed the choral scenes in unison, avoiding part-singing. All the opera characters are American Indians, and so were some performers of the two US stage productions in the 1920s.
This volume features the revised content of the ICAMus Session on Winona, presented at the international “Intersections/Intersezioni” Conference, directed by Profs. Fulvio Santo Orsitto and Simona Wright, held in Florence, Italy, on June 1st, 2017. It explores the significant Italian contribution to the controversial Indianist movement that flourished in American music and culture from the last decades of the 19thcentury until the early 1900s.
The ICAMus conference session was followed by the live performance of a selection from Winona, in collaboration with Conservatorio di Musica “Luigi Cherubini” di Firenze. The performance, which took place in the Sala del Buonumore of the Music Conservatory, was based on the unpublished manuscript of the opera, housed in the ICAMus Archive, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
Our warmest thanks to “Intersections” and to the conference directors, Profs. Fulvio Santo Orsitto and Simona Wright, for inviting ICAMus for the third time, and for the wonderful opportunity of an international conversation among scholars.
ICAMus is thankful to the conference presenters and to Dr. Alexandra Monchick for sharing their research and discoveries.
The most special thanks to Julia Jacobs, for donating the unique Bimboni Collection to the ICAMus Archive. This publication is dedicated to her memory.
We acknowledge the valuable help, expertise, and collaboration of Estelle Gilson; Roberta Prada and the late Jack Lee; Judith Lungen and Richard Lener; Anna Maria Gasparri Rossotto; the Amedeo Bassi Archive - Biblioteca Comunale “Balducci” and the Museo Amedeo Bassi in Montespertoli (Firenze), and the Archive of the Teatro Regio of Turin.
It is our hope that the ICAMus research will inspire more scholars and performers to study the beautiful, distinctive score of Winona.
Aloma Bardi, Montespertoli (Florence, Italy), May 10th, 2018
THE "INTERSECTIONS/INTERSEZIONI" CONFERENCE 2017, ICAMus SESSION: THE PRESENTERS AND THE VENUE.
(In the photo below) DAVIDE CERIANI (Associate Professor, Rowan University) presenting at “Intersections/Intersezioni” - ICAMus Session, Kent State University, Florence Program, June 1st, 2017. Dr. Ceriani has co-authored his article on Oreste and Alberto Bimboni, Florentine Musicians in America: Their International Career and How They Influenced the American Musical Scene, with Dr. ALEXANDRA MONCHICK (Associate Professor, California State University, Northridge).
(In the photo below) BARBARA BOGANINI (Sovrintendente at Camerata strumentale «Città di Prato» and member of the ICAMus Board of Directors) presenting at “Intersections/Intersezioni” - ICAMus Session, Kent State University, Florence Program, June 1st, 2017: Giacomo Puccini, Amedeo Bassi, Alberto Bimboni: Tuscan Connections in American Music.
(in the photo below) ALOMA BARDI (ICAMus Director) presenting at “Intersections/Intersezioni” - ICAMus Session, Kent State University, Florence Program, June 1st, 2017: «How an Italian Composer Came to Create the First All-Indian Opera»: The Approach to Native American Motifs and Musical Sources in Winona.
(In the photo below) GRETCHEN PETERS (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Music Department &The American Indian Studies Program) presenting at “Intersections/Intersezioni” - ICAMus Session, Kent State University, Florence Program, June 1st, 2017: The Significance of “Real Indians” in the Minneapolis Performance of Winona. Prof. Peters's article is forthcoming in our PDF publication.
FIND OUT MORE ON ALBERTO BIMBONI'S UNPUBLISHED OPERA, WINONA, IN THE ICAMus WEBSITE, HERE.