Italians’ Nightly Singalongs Prove That Music Soothes the Savage Beast of Coronavirus Quarantine & Self-Isolation

It’s not like we’re maestros…it’s a moment of joy in this moment of anx­i­ety. —Emma San­tachiara, Rome

As report­ed by The New York Times, Ms. Sanachiara, age 73, has joined the vast choir of ordi­nary Ital­ians tak­ing to their bal­conies and win­dows to par­tic­i­pate in social­ly dis­tant neigh­bor­hood sin­ga­longs as coro­n­avirus rages through their coun­try.

The Inter­net has been explod­ing with mes­sages of sup­port and admi­ra­tion for the quar­an­tined cit­i­zens’ musi­cal dis­plays, which have a fes­tive New Year’s Eve feel, espe­cial­ly when they accom­pa­ny them­selves on pot lids.

Three days ago, Rome’s first female may­or, Vir­ginia Rag­gi, called upon res­i­dents to fling open their win­dows or appear on their bal­conies for night­ly 6pm com­mu­ni­ty sings.

A woman in Turin report­ed that the pop up musi­cales have forged friend­ly bonds between neigh­bors who in pre-quar­an­tine days, nev­er acknowl­edged each other’s exis­tence.

Nat­u­ral­ly, there are some soloists.

Tenor Mau­r­izio Mar­chi­ni ser­e­nad­ed Flo­ren­tines to “Nes­sun Dor­ma,” the famous aria from Puc­cini’s opera Turan­dot, repeat­ing the high B along with a final Vin­cerò!, which earns him a clap from his young son.

In Rome, Giu­liano San­gior­gi, front­man for Negra­maro, hit his bal­cony, gui­tar in hand, to enter­tain neigh­bors with Pino Daniele’s 1980 hit “Quan­no Chiove” and his own band’s “Mer­av­iglioso.”

Ear­li­er in the year, the 11 mil­lion res­i­dents of Wuhan, Chi­na, the dead­ly epi­cen­ter of the coro­n­avirus out­break, also used music to boost morale, singing the nation­al anthem and oth­er patri­ot­ic songs from their indi­vid­ual res­i­dences. Jiāyóu, or “add oil,” was a fre­quent exhor­ta­tion, remind­ing those in iso­la­tion to stay strong and keep going.

Read­ers, are you singing with your neigh­bors from a safe dis­tance? Are they ser­e­nad­ing you? Let us know in the com­ments.

Relat­ed Con­tent: 

Tom Waits Releas­es a Time­ly Cov­er of the Ital­ian Anti-Fas­cist Anthem “Bel­la Ciao,” His First New Song in Two Years

Bruce Spring­steen Sin­gin’ in the Rain in Italy, and How He Cre­ates Pow­er­ful Imag­i­nary Worlds

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  Like most of us in this crazy, his­toric peri­od, all of her events have been can­celled. Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

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