Vitale is an exploration and dedication to the artist’s grandmother, Philomena, who lost a decade-long battle with Alzheimer's in 2016. Philomena had a true talent for singing, soloing with Leonard Bernstein in his "Mass" at Yale and in Vienna, Austria. Despite the disease growing stronger, Philomena's memory of her performance never faded; she would routinely and proudly tell her grandchildren the colourful details each time they visited her. In her final days, a video recording of this life-defining performance became available for the first time in four decades. Upon showing it to her, it was as if the disease, if only for a moment, was silenced. She remembered everything.
This piece honours that special memory, which not even Alzheimer's could take away from her. The title of the piece is Philomena's maiden name Vitale, meaning "of life.”
Image rights: Baycrest Health Sciences
About Molly Gambardella
American, based in Connecticut, United States