Leonardo in Manila: A Series of Events Celebrating Da Vinci's Genius

The 500th death anniversary of the Italian genius Leonardo Da Vinci is being celebrated in the different parts of the world to pay homage to the man behind Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, the Vitruvian Man, and so much more.

Here in Manila, the Embassy of Italy teamed up with the Philippine Italian Association and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (ICCPI) to also bring us Leonardo in Manilaconsisting of a series of activities from November 13 to 21 that would give us a better understanding of Leonardo Da Vinci's life, works, and ideals.

Image courtesy of the Philippine Italian Association

Here are the activities that Leonardo in Manila has in store for everyone:

1. Being Leonardo Da Vinci: An Impossible Interview
Theater play
Date: November 21, 7:00 PM​
Venue: Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino, Cultural Center of the Philippines
Ticket prices: P800/P1,000

Image courtesy of the Philippine Italian Association

This is Leonardo Da Vinci's true life portrayed onstage. It recounts the man's life as the painter, the scientist, and the inventor, as well as his authentic language, his secrets, methods of working, and passions.

Being Leonardo Da Vinci is a one-act play by renowned Italian director and actor Massimiliano Finazzer Flory, who is known for fusing philosophy and literature with Performing Arts. In the format of an impossible interview, the man acts as Da Vinci himself, and performs in Renaissance language original texts written by Leonardo, answering questions regarding his life, philosophy, art, and more. Multi-awarded director, playwright, and actor Carlito Casaje will be acting as a journalist who will have the impossible interview opposite Flory's Da Vinci.

For tickets, you may contact the CCP Box Office at 8-832-37-04, TicketWorld at 8-891-9999, and PIA at (+632) 8-815-1310 / philippineitalianassociation@gmail.com. You may also visit the TicketWorld website.


2. Masterclass
Lecture with short film screening
Date: November 20, 2:00 PM
Venue: Dream Theatre, Cultural Center of the Philippines

Image courtesy of the Philippine Italian Association

Led by Massimiliano Finazzer Flory with the assistance of Carlito Casaje, this masterclass is set to tackle the topic of interdisciplinarity through the conjugation of Art and Science, Memory and Imagination, Tradition and Technology, and Theater and Cinema.

It will delve deeper on how Leonardo Da Vinci dubbed himself as a designer at a time that the term did not exist. Through the short film screening, Flory will also explain how its cinematic techiniques had been incorporated with the teachings of Leonardo Da Vinci, conjugating photography, editing and screenplay together with history and pictorial theories, in order to raise Nature and Environment to the role of protagonist,  a school of thought known as Deep Ecology.

For reservations, contact Ms. Mantaring of the CCP Arts Education Department through ccp.artist.training@gmail.com / (+632) 8-832-1125 loc 1604.


3. 'Being Leonardo Da Vinci, The Movie' Film Presentation
Film screening
Date: November 19, 5:00 PM
Venue: Cinematheque Center Manila

A movie adaptation of Massimiliano Finazzer Flory's play will also be screened as this year's Cine Europa opens in November. It follows the story of two journalists who are both looking for a scoop for Da Vinci's 500th death anniversary. Through their perspective, viewers will see the landscapes, artworks, and other artifacts relating to the man in question. Soon they will meet him face-to-face where they will finally conduct the impossible interview with Leonardo Da Vinci. Just as in his play, Flory is also playing the role of Da Vinci in this film, besides acting as the film's director.

Access to the film screening is free. For reservations, you may contact them through philippineitalianassociation@gmail.com / (+632) 8-815-1310.


4. Cook-Off With Leonardo
University lectures and culinary contest
Dates: Nov. 5 to 6 (Lectures); Nov. 14 (Cooking contest)
Venue: Lyceum Culinary Institute

Image courtesy of the Philippine Italian Association

Da Vinci is widely-known for his role as a painter, sculptor, inventor, and philosopher in the Renaissance, and it is a surprise learning that the man's first and true love was actually cooking. In line with this, there will be lectures on this topic to be conducted by Italian Chef Salvatore Arria at the three participating universities: St. Scholastica (Nov. 5, 9AM), Lyceum of the Philippines Manila (Nov. 5, 1PM), and National University (Nov. 6, 9AM).

On November 14, there will be a Culinary Contest between the participating schools, and they will compete to create dishes that Leonardo Da Vinci himself could have made back in his time.

For more information, you may contact philippineitalianassociation@gmail.com / (+632) 8-815-1310.


5. The Last Supper
Lecture and Leonardian dinner
Date: November 13
Venue: Caruso (restaurant), Bel-Air, Makati
Price: P3,000 (wine included)

Image courtesy of the Philippine Italian Association

In this lecture-slash-dinner, PIA Director Mr. James Freney will introduce the secrets of Leonardo's famed piece The Last Supper, which will cover the context in which Da Vinci lived, during the Renaissance period. The presentation will also cover  aspects related to human emotion, as well as the reaction of the Apostles to the message of Jesus as described in the Gospels.

For the Leonardo-themed dinner, a menu concocted by Caruso's restaurant director, Emilio Mina, will be served which includes a four-course meal and a selection of wine.

Make your reservations through philippineitalianassociation@gmail.com / (+632) 8-8151310.


6. Leonardo, Wine, & Cuisine
Lecture and dinner
Date: November 20, 7PM
Venue: Ponte Rialto at the Venice Grand Canal Mall
Price: P3,000

Image courtesy of the Philippine Italian Association

Besides being a Renaissance polymath and archetypal genius in numerous fields, Da Vinci was also a budding nutritionist in his time. In fact, he has written meticulous culinary notebooks filled with his insights on food, wine, and the kitchen.

Another lecture and dinner will be held, this time at Ponte Rialto, with a four-course meal by Chef Salvatore Arria and Sommelier Mr. Luca Galli.

Make your reservations through info@iccpi.org.ph / philippineitalianassociation@gmail.com.


To know more about Leonardo in Manila, check out its events page at the Philippine Italian Association website or visit the official Leonardo in Manila page on Facebook.

Homestream image courtesy of the Philippine Italian Association.

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