Issue #148

Roberto Scarcella Perino

Io la Musica

Roberto Scarcella Perino’s music has been commissioned, performed, and recorded by excellent ensembles and soloists throughout Europe and the United States, including the Orchestra Arturo Toscanini, the Orchestra Regionale Toscana, Giuseppe Bruno and the Exclusive Saxophone Quartet.
His works include five operas, 2 piano concertos, movie scores, ballets, chamber and choral music. His first opera, A Caval Donato, commissioned and premiered by Teatro Verdi in Pisa in 1999, has been produced also at Teatro Vittorio Emanuele in Messina. Mr. Scarcella Perino was chosen to write the music for Verdi, Merli and Cucù, an opera commissioned and premiered by Teatro Verdi in Busseto, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of death of Giuseppe Verdi in 2001. Blackout had its world premiere in October 2003 at the Tarrytown Music Hall in New York, and had further productions at Teatro Piccolo Regio in Turin and at Teatro Savio in Messina. August 2017 saw the world premiere of his new opera “Furiosus” commissioned by the International Opera Theater of Philadelphia in Città della Pieve (Umbria) and in May 2022 the Teatro Ponchielli in Cremona will produce “A Sweet Silence in Cremona”, a comic opera written with Mark Campbell. His Azione in Musica for children’s chorus, Le Passioni dell’Anima, the sequel to his successful Le Passioni dell’Aria, was premiered in Italy in April 2017 and one month later in New York performed by the New York City Children’s Chorus. Mr. Scarcella Perino is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the NYU Italian Department, Faculty at the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at The Metropolitan Opera, a Scholar in Residence at the American Institute for Verdi Studies and the Composer in Residence at the Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò. He has been the recipient of numerous high honors and awards, including an International Competition for Children’s Opera and the Musical Analysis International Competition N. Slonimskij. He studied with the Slovenian pianist Sonja Pahor to whom he dedicated his first Piano Sonata. He holds degrees in Piano from the Conservatory “Corelli” in Messina and in Composition from the Conservatory Martini in Bologna. He studied composition at Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome with Azio Corghi, in Milan and in Parma at Accademia Petrassi, and also Conducting at the Juilliard School of Music. Roberto graduated from the University of Bologna with a degree in Musicology and he taught Music Analysis at the Arturo Toscanini Foundation in Parma. Every summer, Roberto teaches a course on Italian Opera at NYU in Florence.

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What do you do in your life (work and fun)?

First and foremost, I am a music composer. I write operas, chamber music, pieces for solo instruments and orchestra. I am also a professor, I am a faculty at NYU in the Italian Department and at the Lindemann Young Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera. Mornings are my favorite time of day, where I feel the most creative and inspired. I enjoy outdoor runs, yoga, cooking for my friends, and attending performances for theater, concerts, operas, plays, and musicals.

What made you leave Italy and chose New York?

I came to New York for love in 2001,  and although it didn’t turn out the way I expected, I fell in love with the city of New York and never left.

Please share your best memory in the City.

Probably my best memory was when I realized that I was a true New Yorker. It was during a roof party with two of my closest friends. Up to this point, I was still feeling like a fish out of water, but on that rooftop by Central Park, after the sunset and after a glass of an Italian red wine, magically I could understand all the conversations. I could make jokes, speak about opera, and even relate to the details of commuting within New York. I became a New Yorker.

What made you choose this specific location and outfit?

Little Island is a new location and a magical place. It’s something beautiful created in a place where there was nothing before, only water. It was like silence that became a music score. The first time I saw this place I was impressed by the big floating theater on the Hudson River, it’s made of wood in the shape of a Greek amphitheater, and it looks like a boat that takes  your imagination somewhere out in the ocean.
I really wanted to take a picture in that theater, wearing something that’s casual but with style.

Your thought about this project, ITALIANY.US is a community created by Alexo’s imagination. He is able to frame the soul of each member of many Italian New Yorkers. Each photograph tells a unique story, and all these unique stories have two major things in common: New York and Alexo’s vision.

How would you describe being an ambassador of the Italian style/culture abroad?

New York is a melting pot of many styles and cultures, a big inspiration that I am able to experience everyday living in the city. I love being able to contribute to this artistic melting pot, to challenge the stereotype of what it means to be Italian, and to show the world my music, full of infinite possibilities.

  • Manhattan, NY


  • Time

    300 mins

  • Shots


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A visual celebration of Italians working, living and loving in NY and in the US