Festa della Primavera Reception Third Annual Presentation of the Savoy Foundation’s Chivalry Award
May 20, 2015
On the evening of Wednesday, May 20, 2015, the American Foundation of Savoy Orders sponsored its annual spring benefit, Festa della Primavera, under the patronage of Their Royal Highnesses Prince Victor Emmanuel and Princess Marina of Savoy. The elegantly grand Columbus Citizens Foundation townhouse in New York City served as the venue. During the festive reception, the Savoy Foundation’s Third Annual Chivalry Award was presented to Mrs. Sergio Franchi in recognition for her staunch support of performance artists in the field of opera and classical Italian and romantic song. For the past 25 years, Mrs. Franchi, has honored her late husband’s cultural legacy with a concert series that has funded over 600 scholarships for up and coming young opera singers at the annual Sergio Franchi Memorial Concert held on the lawn of Mrs. Franchi's rolling 250-acre estate in Stonington, Connecticut. It was a joyful and deeply moving event, which also coincided with the twenty-five year anniversary of Sergio Franchi’s passing on May 1, 1990. Mrs. Franchi graciously accepted the Chivalry Award which she viewed as a memorial to her husband’s cultural legacy and love for his beloved Italian homeland. The program featured internationally acclaimed guest tenor James Valenti. Comm. George C. White presented the award. The Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, His Excellency Archbishop Bernadito Auza, the Vatican’s ambassador to the United Nations, also attended. The event raised funds for the Savoy Foundation’s charitable initiatives, in particular, Italian Language Programs in the United States. The reception was hosted at the Club by Dama di Comm. Vivian Cardia and the Event Chair and Grand Patron was Uff. Anthony G. Viscogliosi.
National Council Meeting - May 20, 2015
Prior to the evening’s festivities, at 4:30 p.m.,the American Delegation of the Dynastic Orders of the Royal House of Savoy held a meeting of its National Council attended by the Delegate Cav. Gr. Cr. Avv. Carl J. Morelli; Inter-Orders Liaison Gr. Uff. L’On. Dominic Massaro; Hartford, Connecticut Regional Representative Uff. Avv. Gerald E. Farrell, Jr.; Dallas, Texas Regional Representative Uff. Avv. E. Wayne Bachus, Los Angeles Regional Representative Uff. Daniel McClory; New Haven, Connecticut Regional Representation Comm. Avv. Roy De Barbieri; Director of Communications Dama di Commenda Mira Zivkovich; and Mr. Jeffrey Ryan, Recording Secretary. Also attending, by invitation, were Savoy Foundation President Gr. Uff. Marco Grassi and board members, Dama di Comm. Vivian Cardia and Uff. Anthony G. Viscogliosi.
Festa della Primavera Reception – May 20, 2015
The Festa commenced at 6:30 p.m. with a splendid cocktail reception enjoyed by all attendees. It was an especially beautiful evening and a resounding success for the American Foundation of Savoy Orders’ Spring Benefit. About one hundred guests and donors assembled to support the honoree, Mrs. Sergio Franchi, who shares a passion for service to the community at large and a desire to ensure that the younger generation of fledgling opera singers, embrace the culture and legacy of Italy through its music. Eva Franchi’s vivacious energy and warmth seemed to affect everyone present. Guests were treated to romantic Neapolitan songs and an aria from Grand Opera performed by tenor James Valenti, who was accompanied by charming pianist Audrey St. Gil. The 2015 Festa della Primavera Spring Reception received support from Grand Patrons Uff. and Mrs. Anthony G. Viscogliosi; Patrons Mr. and Mrs. Seymour Flug; Benefactors Uff. Dott. R. Brandon Fradd, Mr. John J. Frezza, Mr. and Mrs. Mario Gabelli, Uff. Avv. Richard Miller, Uff. Thomas Pecora and Mr. Leandro Rizzuto; Grand Sponsors Uff. Avv. Louis Benza, Dama di Comm. Vivian Cardia, Uff. Anthony Cipriano, Cav. Avv. Frank Desiderio, Mrs. and Mrs. Russell Masetta, Mrs. and Mrs. Wright Palmer, and Comm. and Mrs. George C. White.
Dama Joan Bartilucci and Comm. Ing. Nicholas Bartilucci, Baroness Flavia Frati-Spagnola, Gr. Uff. Marco and Dama di Comm. Cristina Grassi, Cav. Gr. Cr. Avv. Carl J. Morelli and NYSOSIA Grand Lodge Foundation.
Some of the notable guests and contributors included:
His Excellency Archbishop Bernadito Auza, Papal Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations; Mrs. Bootsie Barth; Mrs. Joanna Carson; Dr. Stephen Coan; Dr. Adrienne Denese; Mario Gabelli and his wife Regina Pitaro; Dama Jolanta Fabicka; Ms. Rosemarie Gallina-Santangelo; Mr. Peter Glankoff; Gr. Uff. L’On. Dominic Massaro; Uff. Daniel McClory; Mr. and Mrs. Wright Palmer; Mr. Berardo Paradiso, Mrs. Angelina Pecora; Cav. Vincent Pica II; Dama Jean Roccon-Rohm; Mrs. Christina Rose; Mrs. Susan Scott; Ms. Priscilla Simon; Baroness Gabriella von Langendorff; Comm. and Mrs. George C. White and Mrs. Klara Wright.
Chivalry Award Presentation Ceremony
At 7:15 pm, the guests were called to the presentation ceremony of the Chivalry Award. Savoy Foundation Vice President Joseph Sciame made welcoming remarks and introduced Event Chair and Foundation Board Member Uff. Anthony Viscogliosi, who also welcomed the attendees and especially the evening’s honoree, Mrs. Sergio Franchi. Mrs. Franchi has been the recipient of many other awards, in particular: the Sons of Italy Good Citizens Award for her outstanding contributions in her profession and in her community; “Women of the Year” by Boys Town of Italy; “Golden Lioness Award” by Sons of Italy; National Italian American Foundation’s Cultural Contribution Award; and the town of Stonington, Connecticut awarded “Stars Over Stonington” to The Sergio Franchi Music Foundation, as the most loved musical event in New England. She is also founder and Director of Conair Corporation’s Hospitality Division. In addition to her Foundation work, she generously supports the American Cancer Society. Uff. Viscogliosi then introduced Savoy Foundation President Gr. Uff. Marco Grassi.
In acknowledging the support of guests in the audience, the President thanked all those who contributed to the success of the Gala, particularly the Grand Patrons, Patrons, Benefactors, Grand Sponsors and Sponsors listed in the evening’s printed program. Additional remarks by Savoy Foundation Chairman of the Board Cav. Gr. Cr. Avv. Carl J. Morelli. reiterated the historic purposes of the Savoy Orders and the Savoy Foundation’s charitable initiatives in education, hospice care, disaster relief efforts and the Savoy History Lecture Series promoting history of the Royal House of Savoy. He explained that the Chivalry Awards were inaugurated by the Savoy Foundation in 2013 to focus greater attention on a code of honorable conduct and civility, embodying the highest ideals of civilization in our harried modern times. Honorees for these awards are selected in recognition of their outstanding service, generosity and civility in their distinguished careers and their unselfish commitment to public causes and personal dignity, which reflect the noble and ancient chivalric traditions of the Dynastic and Hereditary Orders of the Royal House of Savoy. Mr. Morelli was very pleased to read a letter of greeting from His Royal Highness Prince Victor Emmanuel of Savoy. He also thanked the Patrons, Benefactors and Sponsors for their generous support of this evening’s event. He also thanked the Honoree for her gracious acceptance to be the recipient of the Foundation’s third annual Chivalry Award. He then introduced Comm. George C. White, the presenter of the Chivalry Award, who read the text of the commendation before the audience and presented the award to Mrs. Sergio Franchi. Mrs. Franchi, accepted the Award in a very touching and humble way in memory of her late husband and his inspiring legacy which brought much joy and pleasure to many Americans during his spectacular singing career.
A special highlight of the evening was the appearance of Metropolitan Opera tenor James Valenti. He entertained guests with an aria from Puccini’s opera Tosca “E lucevan le stelle” and two Italian Neapolitan love songs “Core’ngrato” and “Non ti scordar di me” all frequently performed by Sergio Franchi during his stellar career in television and on the stage. A major artist in the opera world’s most celebrated venues, Mr. Valenti was accompanied by his charming collaborator, pianist Audrey St. Gil. While introducing his performance, Mrs. Franchi reiterated her mission: “To make sure that those beautiful romantic classical love songs will be heard, experienced and learned by the youth of today, so they too may be inspired to experience the beauty and ecstasy of an art form that throughout the years should never be lost, or forgotten, something no one should be living without.” “Music has the power and influence to change people’s lives,” she said “and the belief that the power of music can have a truly positive and transformative effect on the world beyond is what drives all of us here.
The American Foundation of Savoy Orders is most grateful for the generous contributions it has received. Without these, this event would not have been possible:
Grand Patrons Uff. and Mrs. Anthony G. Viscogliosi Patrons Mr. and Mrs. Seymour Flug Benefactors Uff. Dott. R. Brandon Fradd Mr. John J. Frezza Mr. and Mrs. Mario Gabelli Cav. Avv. Richard Miller Uff. Thomas Pecora Mr. Leandro Rizzuto Grand Sponsors Uff. Avv. Louis Benza Dama di Comm. Vivian Cardia Uff. Anthony Cipriano Cav. Avv. Frank Desiderio Mr. and Mrs Russell Masetta Mr. and Mrs. Wright Palmer Comm. And Mrs. George C. White Sponsors Baroness Flavia Frati‐Spagnola Gr. Uff. Marco and Dama di Comm. Cristina Grassi Cav. Gr. Cr. Avv. Carl J. Morelli NYSOSIA Grand Lodge Foundatio
We are pleased that the following members and friends attended or contributed to the Savoy Foundation’s 2015 Festa della Primavera Spring Benefit: Mrs. Anne Akers Uff. Dott. Igor Alexandroff Leila Amineddoleh, Esq. Dama Dott.ssa Anna Armstrong H.E. Archbishop Bernadito Auza Uff. Avv. E. Wayne Bachus Ms. Leonora Ballinger Mrs. Bootsie Barth Dama Joan Bartilucci Comm. Ing. Nicholas Bartilucci Uff. Avv. Louis Benza Mr. Richard Bussa Uff. Dott. William Caccese Mrs. Andrea Caccese Dama di Comm. Vivian Cardia Uff. Anthony Cipriano Dr. Stephen Coan Mr. Richard Collins and guest Paul E. Cravinho, Esq. and guests Comm. Avv. Roy De Barbieri Dr. Patricia De Barbieri Dr. Adrienne Denese Cav. Avv. Frank J. Desiderio Ms. Milana Dostanitch Uff. Charles Drake Mr. Alistair J. Ellis III Dama Jolanta Fabicka Mrs. Maria Falvo D’Urso Uff. Avv. Jerry Farrell, Jr. Mrs. Renee Flug Mr. Seymour Flug Uff. Dott. Brandon Fradd Baroness Flavia Frati-Spagnola Mr. John J. Frezza Ms. Mary Ann Fusco Mr. Mario Gabelli Mrs. Regina Gabelli Ms. Rosemarie Gallina-Santangelo Mr. Peter Glankoff Gr. Uff. Marco Grassi Dama di Comm. Cristina Grassi Cav. George Gunning IV Dr. Paul Gusmorino Ms. Lydia Palermo Horiguchi Mrs. Jean Humphrey Cav. Rev. Msgr. Christopher Hynes Comm. Eric Ierardi Ms. Nancy Indelicato Dr. Edward Jackson Comm. Very Rev. Harry E. Krauss Mr. Daniel Ladner Mrs. Antonia Masetta Mr. Russell Masetta Gr. Uff. L’On. Dominic Massaro Uff. Daniel McClory Comm. Very Rev. John McGuire, OP Cav. Rev. Msgr. P. Vincent McNamara Cav. Louis M. Micolucci Mrs. Jocelyn Micolucci Dama Joan Migliori Cav. Avv. Richard Miller Cav. Gr. Cr. Avv. Carl J. Morelli Dama Mica Mosbacher Mr. Peter O'Connor Mrs. Anna Marie Palmer Mr. Wright Palmer Mr. Berardo Paradiso Mrs. Angelina Pecora Uff. Thomas Pecora Cav. Vincent Pica II Mr. Leandro Rizzuto Dama Jean Roccon-Rohm and guests Mrs. Christina Rose Mr. Jeffrey Ryan Uff. Richard Salerni Mr. Richard Salfas Mrs. Lisa Salibello Cav. Salvatore Salibello Mr. Anthony Schembri Gr. Uff. Joseph Sciame Mrs. Susan Scott Ms. Audrey St. Gil Ms. Priscilla Simon Ms. Rebecca Smith Ms. Patricia Theis Mr. James Valenti Mr. and Mrs. Valenti Dama di Comm. Larissa Van Duser Mr. Robert Villanova Uff. Anthony Viscogliosi Mrs. Paula Viscogliosi Baroness Gabriella von Langendorf and guest Mr. Richard Waite Mrs. Betsy White Comm. George C. White Mrs. Klara White Dama Elisabeth Young Dama di Comm. Mira Zivkovich