The Choir “Coroanaroma” (choir of the Associazione Nazionale Alpini, Rome chapter) was founded in 1963, under the musical direction of the late Lamberto Pietropoli, a school professor with a deep and durable love for popular and choral music.
Pietropoli was an extremely ingenious musician and his arrangements never betray the fact that he was originally an amateur; those who met Pietropoli used to say that he was able to make even stones sing in chorus.
The early years were essentially devoted to performing alpine and mountain songs, but soon the choir started to widen the scope of its repertoire and, following the inclinations of its conductor and founder, devoted most of its activity to researching and retrieving the heritage of regional music, especially from Italy.
Thus, popular songs as well as antique melodies, thanks also to original arrangements, have been rescued from oblivion and given a deserved place in Italy’s choral culture.
The book “Canto d’Assieme”, published by the Choir in 1985, collects a hundred of maestro Pietropoli’s arrangements and bears witness to this musical rediscovery.
With this unique physiognomy, beginning from Italy’s Capital, Coroanaroma has performed in all Italy, in Europe (Luxembourg, Switzerland, Hungary), in Russia (1993) in the United States (1992 and 2010), singing an original anthology of traditional music, often rediscovered, sometimes arranged for a choir for the first time.
The choir’s commitment to preserving and singing traditional choral music has always been accompanied by the joy of singing together and by the genuine desire to transmit values of brotherhood and peace among all men.
The choir’s repertoire, besides a vast collection of folk songs which has grown over the years, also includes popular songs written by well known composers, like Bepi De Marzi, Otello Profazio and Roman Vlad, and a number of choral classics by Verdi, Mozart, Perosi, J. S. Bach, Saint Saens.
In 1985, Lamberto Pietropoli, the founder of Coroanaroma, left Rome to return to his beloved city of Belluno, in Veneto, where he would, sadly, die in October 1994. Pietropoli’s heritage was collected by maestro Guido Podestà, who held a diploma in double-bass, band instrumentation and choral music from Pesaro conservatory and had a long concert experience with chamber music ensembles. Guido Podesta' left the world of choirs forever on september 5, 2015.
For many years Guido Podestà was a recording manager at RCA Italia, then BMG Ariola: during his career at RCA/BMG, Podestà earned the highest esteem by all musician and artists who had the opportunity to work with him. Under the leadership of Guido Podestà the Choir, while preserving its distinctive characteristics, further expanded its repertoire and produced two Compact Discs devoted to the origins of Italy’s regional songs, which bear the appropriate title “Origini”, and one CD devoted to songs of the Italian Alpini corps.
The choir also recorded some of Verdi’s most popular choruses together with the Band of the Italian Air Force. These recordings were preceded by four LP’s, which are now considered as collector’s items. It would be out of place to list here all of the concerts given by the Choir in over forty five years of activity, as their number exceeds one thousand, but some are worthy of being mentioned.
The Choir has always been active in promoting musical events: particularly noteworthy are the memorable twinning with the SAT choir celebrated at Rome’s Olympic Theatre in 1985 and the 1st “Singing Italy” Review held at the Oratorio del Caravita also in Rome, in April 1998. In 1992 the Choir was in the U.S.A. and gave concerts in New York, Denver, Cincinnati, and Columbus, on the occasion of the celebrations for the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ discovery of America. In 2010 the Choir made a second tour in the U.S.A. and gave three concerts in Philadelphia, New York and San Francisco.
The Choir has often been invited to sing during official celebrations at Rome’s Quirinale, in the presence of Italy’s Chief of State and of Italian government officials. The choir was always warmly received by its public, in all places of Italy, from Palermo’s Politeama to the Sistina Theatre in Rome, from Monreale’s Cathedral to Santa Croce’s Cenacle in Florence and Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice.
The Choir is also a regular guest every year at selected summer events in the Italian Dolomites. The Choir has regularly participated to the “Adunate” i.e. assemblies, of the Italian Alpini which take place in the month of May of every year in an Italian town and include concerts given by the most popular choirs associated with the Alpini. Particularly noteworthy is the concert given by Coroanaroma in 2005 at Parma’s Teatro Regio, one of the temples of Italy’s music.
The Choir is frequently invited to perform at TV and radio programs. In October 2001 the Choir gave two concerts at Neuchatel, in Switzerland, to inaugurate the town’s concert season, in cooperation with the chamber orchestra of the city. In October and November 2003, to celebrate its fortieth anniversary, the Choir gave two memorable choral performances at Rome’s Auditorium “Parco della Musica” (Park of Music).
Guido Podesta's heritage was briefly collected by two othe choirmasters: Eduardo Notrica, from mid 2011 to mid 2013 and Vincenzo Vivio from october 2013 to december 2014.
Pending the selection of a new choirmaster, from december 214 to June 2015, one of the members of the choir, tenor Andrea D'Aloise was assigned the choir's temporary musical leaderhip.
In June 2015, after a long and exhausting series of auditions, the choir selected Maestro Osvaldo Guidotti as its new choirmaster.
Cooperates with Maestro Guidotti in conducting the choir, the Associate Choirmaster Filippo Stefanelli.
Since 1997, it has been a choir’s tradition to conclude each “choral year” offering a Christmas Concert to all the Romans who love this kind of music; the concert, which is always very crowded, takes place shortly before Christmas in a beautiful baroque church in downtown Rome and presents some of the Choir’s most loved songs arranged in a thematic sequence, which varies every year and often includes also some instrumental music (organ, flute, bagpipes, etc.). Presentations and readings accompany each concert: they are chosen exclusively for this occasion and read by well known actors.
Text by webmaster Rodolfo Gamberale