Note from the author: The compilation of this article is based on various Internet sources, mostly in Italian, with some inconsistent spelling of names. It is incomplete work due to difficulty in finding Nino Bonavolontà’s biographical data, lack of access to the Maestro’s symphonic and operatic programs and often conflicting information.
Furthermore, I wish to express my gratitude to Mr. Enayat Rezai, former director of the Tehran Opera House – Roudaki Hall, and to Mrs. Alessandra Atzori, the cantatrice from Sardinia, for their kind responses to my queries.
                                                        Liliana Osses Adams

A Belated Farewell to Maestro Nino Bonavolontà (1920-2007) by Liliana Osses Adams

As time goes by…Suddenly, a few days ago I woke up with thoughts of Maestro Bonavolontà.
I wasn’t sure if he was still in Sardinia. I asked myself about his well-being. As I remembered him, I looked at the photo dedicated to me in Tehran during the performances of La Bohème at Roudaki Hall Opera House.


Nino Bonavolontà signed this photo on May 16, 1976, in Tehran.
Liliana Osses Adams, private collection.

In the first days of October 2011, I began to search the net for some news, some answers…
I found his obituary at Musicamore blog, dated October 12, 2007.

Maestro Nino Bonavolontà died in Rome in 2007, at the age of 87. Indeed, very sad news.
Nino (Gioacchino) Bonavolontà was born in Rome in 1920.
His father, Giuseppe Bonavolontà (1886-1957) was a principal horn player in the orchestra of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma (originally known as Teatro Costanzi), and was appointed a professor at the Conservatory of St. Cecilia in Roma. He achieved considerable fame as a composer of over one hundred Neapolitan songs.
Nino Bonavolontà, his highly esteemed and most prolific son, had graduated from the Music Conservatory of St. Cecilia in Rome. He studied piano with Ornella Puliti Santolìquido (1906-1977) and composition with the masters of a whole generation of the contemporary Italian composers: Ennio Porrino (1910-1959) and Goffredo Petrassi (1904-2003). His older son Mariuccio (1913-1960), an actor, best known as Mario Riva, became a popular television personality who presented his own quiz show “Il Musichiere” (The Musician).

In postgraduate studies, Nino Bonavolontà devoted himself to conducting. He participated in master courses with Francesco Molinari-Pradelli (1911-1996), Alceo Gallièra (1910-1996)), and later on, perfected his conducting skills with Carlo Zecchi (1903-1984), and with Herbert von Karajan (1908-1989) at the Salzburg Mozarteum.
At the beginning of the 1950’s, he was appointed the chairman at the Conservatory of Ibagué y Manizales in Colombia. The music educational center at Ibagué (province of Tolima) and affiliated Manizales (province of Caldas) promoted and developed young talents (such as Nino Bonavolontà’s student, Miguel Angel Toledo Arango), and set the stage for multi-cultural activities, vibrant folk and jazz festivals, theater festival, and the International Music Camp Ibagué.
At early years, Nino Bonavolontà pursued his career as guest conductor with mostly Verdi and Puccini repertoire, fully exposing his style and artistic temperament. In 1957, he returned to Italy with a curriculum as an established master conductor and accomplished educator. In the same year, he moved with his family to the Mediterranean island of Sardinia where he lived, almost uninterruptedly, for over thirty years.

In 1960, he was offered a position as artistic director at Teatro Verdi di Sassari and as principal conductor of the Orchestra dell’Ente Concerti “Marialisa De Carolis” in Sassari. He was the member of the faculty at the “Luigi Canepa” Conservatory of Music in Sassari. He also was elected a distinguished member of the Board of Directors at dell’Ente Concerti di Nuoro (The Institution of the Concerts at Nuoro.) The Board of organization guided and supported the educational programs and offered undergraduate master-classes, seminars, recitals, classical concerts, and jazz workshops. (Currently, Luca Mannutza, (b.1968), alumni of the “Music Conservatory da Palestrina” in Cagliari, provides piano jazz seminars).

One of Maestro’s desires, at that time, was the revival of the Sardinian composer from a family of Ligurian origin, Luigi Canepa (1849-1914), founder of the Conservatory in Sassari in 1880.
On January 1, 1963, Nino Bonavolontà directed Canepa’s Riccardo III, opera seria in four acts, composed in 1879, on libretto by Fulio Fulgoni (1832-1904). The performance was live recorded at Teatro Verdi di Sassari with Nicola Rossi-Lemeni in the title role, featured Lucille Udovich and Franco Bonisolli. The representation achieved considerable success and great acclaim from critics and audience. (The rare recording of Canepa’s Riccardo III, on 2 CDs, is a copyrighted work licensed by Worth Point, and available for purchase at eBay).
He also successfully introduced to the Sardinian and international audiences the works of his teachers: Ennio Porrino and Goffredo Petrassi, and of the almost forgotten composer, Luigi Rachel di Sardinia (1879-1949), and a Sardinian prodigy Stanislau (Lao, Leo) Silésu (1883-1953), who began to perform on piano at the age of 10. Orchestra Sinfonica dell’Istitutizione dei Concerti di Cagliari recorded Silesu’s Concerto no.1 for pianoforte and orchestra in three movements: Foglie sparse (Scattered leaves), Notturno, and Preludi with Stefano Arnaldi and Maurizio Moretto, under musical direction of Nino Bonavolontà. (Éditions Européennes, 1987).
Lao Silésu was a versatile composer and wrote about 600 pieces of music in a variety of genres, beginning from his famous mélodies for voice and piano to his classical in form operas, and instrumental and orchestral ensembles. He entertained Europe of the Belle Époque and was called by the British monarch Edward VIII “the king of melody”. He was recognized by Puccini, De Falla, Massenet, Débussy, and Ravel. Enrico Caruso recorded some of his songs and Silésu’s “Un peu d’amour” (A little love) was sung by Giuseppe di Stefano, Richard Tauber, Benny Goodman, and Frank Sinatra. In 1926, he composed “Rapsodie sarde” for orchestra and pianoforte (obbligato), which he dedicated to Sardinian writer, Grazia Deledda (1871-1936), the Nobel Prize Winner in Literature (1926). Silésu’s “Astore” (Goshawk), opera in one act, on libretto by Sestilio Magnanelli, adapted after the novel by Grazia Deledda, premièred at Teatro Eliseo di Nuoro in 1972. The “Astore” was only once performed under the musical direction of Nino Bonavolontà and since then the score was almost forgotten. Ennio Porrino used to praise Silésu’s work, often inspired by the folk songs of his native island, and said, that “he was a musician in the truest sense of the word, and an artist with an excellent taste and sensitivity”.
Maestro Bonavolontà was quite enthusiastic of Goffredo Petrassi’s series of eight “Concerti per Orchestra”, and he gave a “groβartig” performance in Salzburg (“Salzburger Tagblatt”).

The rare performances of Ennio Porrino’s Proserpina (the ballet music for narrator and female voice, first performed in Florence in 1938), Sinfonietta in Re, and La bambola malata (The Sick Doll – a pantomime of a children stories by poet Luciano Folgore), were recorded by Philips in London after 1959, with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Rome, under Maestro Nino Bonavolontà.

On January 29, 1969, Nino Bonavolontà conducted at Teatro Verdi in Sassari, Porrino’s L’Organo di Bambù, with Orchestra Sinfonica and Chorus di Sassari. It was the reprise from 1960 first performance. Porrino’s The Bamboo Organ, opera-drama in one act, on libretto by Giovanni Artieri, premièred in Venice, on 23 September 1955 (during the XVIII International Festival of Contemporary Music), under the baton of the composer with Orchestra and Chorus of the Teatro La Fenice in Venice. The principal roles were cast with Oralia Dominquez as Juana, Encrico Campi as Padre Roman, featuring Ferrando Ferrari and Amedeo Berdini. Solo instrumental part – a personification of Juana was played by renowned guitarist, Mario Gangi (1923-2010) to whom Ennio Porrino dedicated his Concerto dell’Argentarola (1953).
In following years, Porrino’s L’Organo di Bambù, in form of theatrical representation was seen in Rome (1956), Barcelona (1958), Napoli ((1966), Teatro Massino di Cagliari (1969), and in February 25, 1972, at the same theater , and then at Teatro Verdi di Sassari on November 25, 1972, reprise from 1969, under the baton of Nino Bonavolontà.
In 1973, Maestro Bonavolontà premièred Porrino’s symphonic poem “Sardegna” (recently remastered from the original vinyl version), and “Nuraghi”: Danze dell Terra, dell’Acqua e del Fuoco (a collection of three Sarde dances of earth, water and fire), with Romanian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra.
Ennio Porrino’s I Shardana: Gli uomini dei nuraghi (The Shardana: Men nuraghi), tragic musical drama in three acts based on libretto by the composer, evokes the legend and myth of ancient Sardinians, descending from a mysterious people of the sea – the Sherden (also known as Shardana), who created thousands of nuraghi (the cone shape structures that have been the symbol of Sardinia.) Porrino’s The Shardana was acclaimed by critics and musicologists as “the most important opera composed in postwar Italy” (Felix Karlinger: “Ennio Porrino e la Sardegna”, 1960). And according to Nino Bonavolontà, in spite of the enigmatic twelve-tone technique, Ennio Porrino’s music connected – in very distinctive manner – the old folk tunes of his homeland into modern musical trends.
The adaptation of Porrino’s The Shardana, entitled the “Hutalabì”, after Da Canti Barbaricini (Songs barbaricini, 1910) by Sardinian poet, Sebastiano Satta (1867-1914), was first broadcast by Rai Sardegna in 1958. After ten years of work, Porrino’s final version prèmiered at Teatro San Carlo in Naples on March 21, 1959, under direction of the author, and later was performed at Teatro Massimo di Cagliari on March 18, 1960.
Ennio Porrino’s music, in semi-theatrical form was executed by conductors Leopold Stokowski, Claudio Abbado, Franco Ferrara, Carlo Maria Giuliani, Tullio Serafin, Nino Sanzogno, and Nino Bonavolontà himself.

In 1975, after fifteen years tenure in Sassari, Maestro Bonavolontà moved to Cagliari, leaving behind a significant mark in the old town’s long cultural tradition. The Board has awarded him with a Certificate of Merit in recognition of his extraordinary directorial and academic activities aimed at dissemination and appreciation of the Sardinian music and culture and thanks him for his commitment in projection to the public the achievements of a fiercely proud and independent people.
In 1976, Maestro Bonavolontà began his relationship with the cultural establishment in the Sardinian capital, Cagliari. For the next years of many successes and constantly avoiding every cause of failure, and with exceptional administrative skills and authority, Nino Bonavolontà held the post of director at the Conservatory of Music “Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina” and as artistic director and chief-conductor at dell’Istituzione dei Concerti del Teatro Lirico di Cagliari  (Institution of the Concerts and the Opera House in Cagliari) at Viale Regina Marguareta. Simultaneously, he was appointed the chairman of the Board.

On May 31, 1977, during the Gala evening at the Conservatory of Music, Vivaldi’s Gloria for choir and orchestra, Bach’s Concerto for 2 violins performed by Attilio Motzo and Roberto Aneeda, and Beethoven’s Fourth Symphony resounded for the very first time at the new theater, introduced by Tito Aprèa and Nino Bonavolontà at the podium.
Four days later, on June 4, 1977, Maestro Bonavolonà inaugurated, on the day of his birthday, the most important musical venue in the city – the Auditorium at the Music Conservatory, the Teatro Lirico “Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina”. An ensemble of soloists, orchestra and chorus, was formed exclusively by 156 alumni of the academy to participate in the two hours long concert. Distinguished experts on Sardinian music, the musicologist Gian Nicola Spanu and Aldo Cesaraccio, music critics and author, presented their commentary.
The artistic program included:
Luigi Canepa: Intermezzo from Riccardo III
Lao Silésu: Preludio in do maggiore, performed on piano by Sandro Sanna
Ennio Porrino: “Canzone a ballo” (Danza di Desulo) from 3 Canzoni Italiane per coro a 4 voci miste (mixed voices)
Ennio Porrino: Second movement, Allegro violento from Sonata drammatica in D minor, op.35, performed on piano by Anna Paolona Zedda
Ennio Porrino: Introduction from L’Organo di Bambù
Domenico Paradissi: Allegro from Toccata in A (originally for harpsichord), played on mandolin by Giuseppe Anedda
Johan Sebastian Bach: Fugue from Sonata per violin, BWV 1001, arranged and performed by Giuseppe Anedda on mandolin
Antonio Vivaldi: First movement from Concerto, op.3, no.8, performed by chamber ensemble:
I Solisti di Cagliari
Sergei Prokofiev: Quintet op. 39, mov.1-3, performed by I Solisti de Cagliari
Gioacchino Rossini: Canzonetta 1, “La regatta veneziana” from Péchés de vieillesse, performed by soprano Gabriella Ravazzi and pianist Gabriella Artizzu
Gioacchino Rossini: Concerto in D for 2 violins and orchestra performed by Silvano Minella and Jo (Jocelyn) Beaumont
Johann Sebastian Bach: First movement from Concerto in D for 2 violins and orchestra with violinists Attilio Mozzo (also listed as Attilio Motzo) and Roberto Anedda.
(Source: Sardegna Digital Library/Rai Radiotelevisione Italiana – Regione della Sardegna).

In coming years, the Auditorium at the Music Conservatory “Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina” and dell’Istituzione e del Teatro Lirico hosted many renowned guest artists, apparently providing fewer opportunities – despite the best efforts and good intentions – to the students and teachers of the academy. The question wasn’t fully answered, if the Auditorium should function as un teatro per la scoula o un teatro per la citta? (a theater for the school or a theater for the city?).
Yet, occasionally for some students, who were constantly encouraged by Maestro Bonavolontà,   “a dream came true”. At the end of each year, the academy graduates participated in full stage musical performances, always receiving warm welcome. On May 1978, the comic opera in one-act by Mozart Bastiano e Bastiana was performed in Italian (recorded by RAI – Radio 3), with Luca Ferdinando Piga as Bastien, Alessandra Atzori as Bastienne, and Gianni Pala as Colas. The performance at the Auditorium of the Conservatory was a collaborated work of the stage director Maria Boninsegna and chorus master Gianni Socci. The orchestral ensemble formed by academy students was led by Filippo Caramazza.
(Unfortunately, there was plenty of criticism of the situation because of unequal opportunities. Even after the inauguration of Cagliari’s Nuovo Teatro Comunale on September 2, 1993, with the performance of Rossini’s Messa di Gloria, conducted by Thomas Sanderling, and with participation of the great Cagliari opera singers, Bernadette Manca di Nissa and Giusy Devinu, the situation wasn’t changed for better. However, in the recent years much attention has been paid to support local young talent. The agreement of cooperation has been reached between cultural institutions at Cagliari: the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari at Via Sant’Alenixedda (built in 1993, as a substitute of the old Teatro Civico di Castello), the Conservatory of Music “Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina”, and the International Academy of Music (founded in 2001), allowing the participation of the academy students, musicians and singers in the artistic activities at the city with the aim to facilitate the path toward their future success).
On June 1, 1978, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal in the news “From Around the World”, carried the headline from Rome: “Financial Scandal”, followed by other American news papers (under  sensational titles), from New York, to Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Florida to Washington, and to California’s The Modesto Bee (“Illegal hirings in Italy – Opera managers, agents held for fraud”, 1/06/78/, p.21, C-10). The twenty-nine biggest names of opera managers and impresarios, from Milan’s La Scala to Venice’s La Fenice, Naples’ San Carlo, Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera, and Sardinia’s Cagliari Opera House, were arrested on suspicion of fraud, extortion and corruption. The charges included alleged illegalities in the hiring of foreign and also Italian performers by private theatrical agents and the practice of kickbacks (10-30 per cent of an artist’s fee) obtained by opera managers in exchange for the job. These allegations were so far unsubstantiated. Nevertheless, the scandal triggered a heated, Italian style debate, when the politics mingled with opera: the communist officials came to the defense of the “victims”, accusing the right-wing officials of manipulations, and demanding immediate reparation for the wrong doing.
(Some publicists misspelled the name of Nino Bonavolontà as Nicola Bonavolontà, causing additional and total confusion to the already traumatizing experience of being arrested at his office and brought to the capital for investigation).
Finally free of all charges and supposedly wrongly accused, Nino Bonavolontà continued his professional activities as scheduled in the “adopted” Sardinia, where he remained until the  beginning of the 1990’s. He also resumed his duties as director and conductor in the well- established tradition of the Conservatory “Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina”, and at dell’ Istituzione dei Concerti e dell’Ente Lirico di Cagliari, succeeding Ennio Porrino and Tito Aprèa, prominent concert pianist and composer, and one of the initiators of Ennio Porrino International Piano Competition, established in 1980s, by the Association of the “Amici della Musica di Cagliari”.

On December 1978, Maestro Bonavolontà was at the podium in Cagliari’s Auditorium del Conservatorio for the performance of Puccini’s La Bohème, with orchestra and choir dell’Istituzione e del Teatro Lirico. The cast included: Gaetano Scano (Rodolfo), Adriana Maliponte/Maria Luisa Garbato (Mimi), Antonio Boyer (Marcello), Mariella Devia (Musetta), Guido Mazzini (Schaunard), Lorenzo Gaetani (Colline), Augusto Pedroni (Benoȋt), Luigi Madda (Alcindoro) and Angelo Ideo, Luigi Risani, in production by Giampaolo Zannaro.
On December 16, replicated 18, 20, 23, 1981, Maestro Bonavolontà conducted Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the Auditorium del Conservatorio with cast Elena Mauti Nunziata (Cio-Cio-San), Clara Foti (Suzuki), Benito Maresca (B. F. Pinkerton), Angelo Romero (Sharpless), Augusto Pedroni (Goro), Anna Maria Lai (Kate Pinkerton), and Luigi Medda, Carlo Micalucci, Guido Malfatti with orchestra and choir dell’Istituzione, in stage production by Marco Parodi.

Under the baton of Nino Bonavolontà, the orchestra ensemble and choir dell’Istituzione with collaboration of local and guest artist’s premièred many major operatic and symphonic works which had not been performed in Sardinia. He supported educational activities in Cagliari (and also in Naples and Rome), focusing his energy on academic successes of his students. He became their mentor and has been an important referee for the start of their career. Under his guidance many young Sardinians made their stage appearances, to name few: Maria Rosa Orani, Rosella Ragatzu, Alessandra Atzori, Gianluca Flores, Mario Luperi, Giampaolo Piga, Guido Mazzini, Francesco Demuro, Francesco Musini, and his wife, Giusy Devinu (1960-2007).
On December 28, 1982, the soprano Giusy Devinu made her most promising debut as Oscar (Riccardo’s page), in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera, at the Auditorium del Conservatorio, conducted by Nino Bonavolontà.

On November 30, replicated on December 2 and 5, 1984, Giusy Devinu sang the role of Musetta in Puccini’s La Bohème at the Auditorium del Conservatorio under Nino Bonavolontà, with the following cast: Giorgio Merighi (Rodolfo), Françoise Garner (Mimi), Lorenzo Saccomani (Marcello), Roberto Coviello (Schaunard), Mario Luperi (Colline), Augusto Pedroni (Benoȋt), Luigi Medda (Alcindoro), and Ivano Lecca, and Luigi Risani, in stage production by Beppe Menegatti.
(For those interested: Giusy Devinu has made her US debut as Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, November, 26, 30, December 4, 6, 1997; she was the last-minute replacement for the originally scheduled Hungarian soprano, Andrea Rost, and as substitute for Ruth Ann Swenson (who cancelled performance on November 26), opposite Christopher Robertson (Rigoletto), and Frank Lopardo (the Duke), with Patrick Summer in the pit). For more information about Giusy Devinu, prematurely dead at the age of 47, please visit the web page: Friends of Giusy Devinu – amicidiguisy.blogspot, created in dedication to her memory by journalist, Lanfranco Visconti. On July 3, replicated 6 and 8, 1986, Maestro Bonavolontà was at the podium at the Roman Amphitheatre (Anfiteatro Romano) in Cagliari for the performance of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with cast Yosako Hayashi (Cio-Cio-San), Eleonora Jancovic (Suzuki), Gianfranco Cecchele (B. F. Pinkerton), Victor Brown (Sharpless), Guido Mazzini (Goro), and Carlo Micalucci, Augusto Pedroni, and Luigi Medda, with orchestra and choir dell’Istituzione, staged by Giancalo Del Monaco.
On January 1989, Nino Bonavolontà conducted Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore at the Teatro Lirico “Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina” di Cagliari with orchestra and choir dell’Istituzione. The cast included: Luciana Serra (Adina), Ezio Di Cesare (Nemorino), Roberto Coviello (Belcore), Alfredo Mariotti (Dulcamara), Rosella Ragatzu (Giannetta), in stage production at the Auditorium del Conservatorio by David Aprile.
In the lyric 1990-91 season at the Conservatory Auditorium, Nino Bonavolontà was at the podium for double-bill opera productions of Puccini’s Il Tabarro and Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana with the following artists: Giorgio Zancanaro, Gianfranco Cecchele, Gianni Mastino, Vito Brunetti, Rita Lantieri, and Corinna Vozza with orchestra and choir dell’Istituzione.

The photo below was taken in 1991, during the time of representation of Il Tabarro. Maestro Bonavolontà is accompanied by three charming vocalists: Annalisa Pittiu, Alessandra Atzori (now editor of the musicamore blog) and Adriana Abelardi (artisti del coro del Teatro Lirico).

Maestro Nino Bonavolontà, Teatro Lirico del Conservatorio di Cagliari, 1991.
Courtesy Alessandra Atzori. Cagliari, November 7, 2011.

On July 11, replicated at 13, 15, 17, 1993, the performance of Puccini’s La Bohème at the Anfiteatro Romano di Cagliari achieved a triumphal ending of Maestro’s successful relationship with Sardinia. The cast included: Pietro Ballo (Rodolfo), Ljudmila Davemuka (Mimi), Bruno De Simone (Marcello), Elisabetta Scano (Musetta), Armando Gabba (Schaunard), Carlo Del Basco (Colline), Franco Federici (Benoȋt), Carlo Di Cristoforo (Alcindoro), and Biago D’Amico, Luigi Medda, Pietro Desogus, in stage production by Giuseppe Giuliano, with orchestra and choir dell’Istutizione e del Teatro Lirico.

Soon after, Nino Bonavolontà returned to his native Rome, aspiring for the biggest and greatest opportunities and contemplating the end of his career at Rome’s Opera House.
On November 5, 1994, the 74-year-old Nino Bonavolontà became a new subcommissario (deputy superintendet) at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, replacing a successful corporate lawyer Vittorio Ripa di Meana (1927-2008) with connection to the city’s left-wing mayor, Francesco Rutelli. In the acrimonious atmosphere of political backbiting, malicious and nasty complaints, the hiring of “harmless administrator” Nino Bonavolontà (cit., Gianni Letta, cabinet secretary of the Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s first center-right government), the principal aim was not (only) to clean up the years of mismanagement, overspending and corruption but to irritate Rutelli, who had to deal with the musician who was (somehow regarded) as “series B conductor”, and (ironically) “he wasn’t Abbado”.
(Sources: Christopher Howell, MusicWeb International; “Night at the opera, a year on the rocks”, The Independent, January 22, 1995).
On January 28, 1995, during the holiday show performed by “stars” and celebrities at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Nino Bonavolontà was among the recipients of the “Gino Tani International Prize for Arts and Spectacles”, sharing the stage with fellow winners, Alfredo Kraus, Ramón Vargas, and the violinist Massimo Quarta.

At the turn of the century, Il Maestro Direttore released himself from artistic life and slowly faded into obscurity. He seems to have been quietly reflecting on his life time of experience and artistic achievement. His health became an important issue. He suffered from abdominal pain. After surgery, he recovered for a while and was in good spirit. Early morning on Tuesday, October 9, 2007, he was admitted for an emergency to the hospital San Giacomo in Rome, where he died at 10:30 am that morning. Next day, his wife Pina sent a notice of his passing to the L’Unione Sarda, daily news paper based in Cagliari. The funeral service took place on Thursday, October 11, 2007, at eleven o’clock at Piazza del Popolo in Rome.


Il Maestro Nino Bonavolontà
L’Unione Sarda. Archive Cronica di Cagliari, October 19, 2007.

Two musical evenings of the “Tribute to Maestro Nino Bonavolontà” were held on March 11 and 12, 2009, at the Auditorium of the Music Conservatory in Cagliari, which he inaugurated in 1977. Conductor Sandro Sanna led orchestra and choir of the Conservatory with the soloists Elizabetta Scano, soprano, and Giuseppe Erdas, baritone. The music selection included: Brahms’s Academic Overture, The Adagietto from Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, Rossini’s Inflammatus from Stabat Mater for soprano and choir, and excerpts from Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera and La Forza del Destino, Bizet’s Carmen, Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’amore, Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, and Pucinni’s Manon Lescaut.
As time will say, Nino Bonavolontà was remarkably consistent in his artistry, sincere, dignified, and an extraordinary performer, stylistically profound and technically accurate conductor, even though he didn’t “drag” the musicians to the exciting level of interpretation or provoke fanatical fervor or devotion, his name will remain forever consigned to the history of the Italian opera and, particularly, to the history of the lyric theatre in Sardinia.