La Scena Musicale

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Institut du Cancer's Invigorating Italian Soirée

By Naomi Gold

L’Institut du cancer de Montréal recently staged its 4th annual Concert Contre le Cancer on a chilly February evening at Place des Arts. The gala commenced with a sumptuous cocktail reception for benefactors and sponsors, which was attended by Quebec Minister of Health, Dr. Yves Bolduc. Traiteur Dansereau, which is celebrating 75 delectable years in business, delighted palates with its dazzling dinner menu and luscious libations.  Attendees were also kept busy bidding on fabulous auction lots, including a trip for two to Italy. 

Guests proceeded to Salle Wilfrid Pelletier for keynote addresses by ICM president André Boulanger, who heads distribution at Hydro-Québec, and campaign committee president Tony Loffreda.  Both discussed ICM's crucial role as a research centre which ultimately translates laboratory progress into clinical protocols.  

Montreal native maestro Giuseppe Pietraroia flew in from Victoria, B.C., to conduct the Orchestre Métropolitain and choir in a mellifluous Italian program. Baritone Gino Quilico, soprano Gianna Corbisiero and tenor Antoine Bélanger interpreted operatic arias by Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti and Bellini. A wildly enthusiastic sold-out crowd burst into rapturous applause following "Va pensiero" from Nabucco and "Gloria all'Egitto" from Aïda. 

Post-performance, patrons and sponsors headed back to the piano nobile reception area for a seriously sinful sweet table which featured a plethora of scrumptious, Italian-style eats 'n treats.  Honorary gala president this year was Sanofi-Aventis Canada Inc. A total of $550,000 was netted for the oncology program at the 'Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal. Funds are specifically earmarked for CRCHUM's 'Reverse the Brain Drain' initiative. The initiative has repatriated five high-caliber medical researchers since 2007.  Bravissimi tutti e fino all'anno prossimo !

Photo courtesy of l’Institut du cancer de Montréal

Photo caption:
Artists and ICM directors, from left to right:
Antoine Bélanger, ténor; guest conductor Giuseppe Pietraroia; Gino Quilico, baritone; André Boulanger, president of l'Institut du cancer de Montréal; Maral Tersakian, ICM director general; Gianna Corbisiero, soprano; Tony Loffreda, 2011 campaign committee president and  Western Quebec VP for the Royal Bank's commercial financial services division

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