We had the good fortune of connecting with Carmela Lamberti and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Carmela, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Before this, I was a scientist for more than 25 years in Italy as well in the USA. I loved my career but I wanted a change that would allow me to follow another long-term passion: I have been an actress since I was 16. Teaching Italian privately with fewer time restrictions seemed to be the right change. It would allow me to do some acting in the theater. I left Italy at the age of 30 on a scientific project shared between the University of Naples and the University of Pittsburgh, and I took with me my mask of Pulcinella, a major character of Commedia dell’Arte. Thirty years later, I’m now using it in a theater project in Dallas with Teatro Flor Candela (www.teatroflorcandela.org). Teaching a language and doing theater are integral parts of my life. Teaching a new language is an incredible tool to stimulate interest in a new culture and to get close to people that share their own. In the same way, theater is a powerful art that uses music, spoken words, scenography and body language to communicate with the audience, share your feelings and visions.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I choose to describe my story under art and creativity. Teaching Italian requires not only specific linguistic preparation but a big dose of creativity. My theater passion, that I’m still pursuing, has been a powerful tool in my teaching. My love for Italy and in particular for my city Napoli has given me a large platform in my teaching. Images, music, arts and personal anecdotes, love for cooking intrigue my students that themselves have multiple different interests. Learning a language is a complex operation. A student has to listens, understand and speak. I wrote songs for my students to memorize Italian verbs I cover their eyes to stimulate their hearing. I used their smell to recognize aromatic herbs: I try to create an emotion that is essential for the formation of a memory. It has been difficult at the beginning to advertise my teaching, but after I had few students, through word of mouth and the creation of a web site things went better. The biggest challenge has been this year, when meeting people was and still is difficult. Working on line for a teacher is different. I lost some students but I also gained others. It is difficult make people sing or do a simulation in a zoom session, tools that help to learn. I love to share our differences with my students, because make us closer. We can laugh or sympathize to the stories of our countries, but one thing is sure that learning a new language opens our brain and our heart.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Since we came to Dallas we had the visit of friends and family and it has been challenging to entertain them. Few spots we always cover are the Arboretum and Downtown Dallas with the different MUSEUMS and the White Rock Lake, a place that my husband and I very often frequent. The varieties of birds, the sailing clubs and the sunsets from the Bath House Center balcony are beautiful. So, for an ideal tourist visit, I would prepare an espresso for my guests and go for a second one in uptown. From then I would take the tram to the DMA, lingering between the newest exhibition and one on the floor of contemporary art. Lunch at one of the food truck in Clyde Warren Park across the Museum with a beer or wine depending on the season and back home to rest. In the evening walk to the lake for sunset. And if you are very organized reserve the catamaran for a cruise on the lake. For a second day just a trip to the Arboretum, slow walking. Lunch at my house with a hot plate of “pasta , frutta e un caffè”. In the evening exploring the vast number of restaurants in Dallas. The majority of the guests want Mexican food in Dallas Third day: visit to the Dallas Contemporary in Glass Street that has always interesting exhibitions in their large space, so inviting. Stop at the taco Mariaci on Singleton for lunch and a walk on the Ronald Kirk Bridge. Fourth day. Low Greenville for a cappuccino and a pastries at the Boulangerie-village Baking Company, sitting in the sun on the bench by the road. Continuing through Ross Avenue to downtown to the Sixth floor Museum for the history lovers. In the evening pizza at Cane Rosso, the closest pizza to Neapolitan one and live music at Adair, close to the restaurant. Fifth day. Visit with previous reservation, to the Rachofsky house. Lunch to Eatzi’s on Oak Lawn Avenue. Evening back to the Kirk Bridge to see Dallas skylight. Sixth day. Farmer market, full of flowers and more. Dinner in a Indian restaurant like “Mughlai fine Indian Cuisine”. And after dinner to the Balcony to enjoy jazz music; we love this place! Seventh day. Visit to the Nasher with its sculptures in the lovely garden, and maybe a lunch on the terrace.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Although I’m a Biology graduate, my preparation in classic studies from high school have stayed with me forever. The study of the classics, of the Greek of the Latin, of the history of Art and literature, and living in one of the most romantic city such as Napoli I had to save both parts of my brain. After leaving the academic life I thought that teaching Italian would give me the chance to study again humanities and share it with friends and students. I owe to my teachers to my city and to a friend I met in a library, that invited me to organize a dinner for his students, the onset of my business.

Website: www.dallasitalian.com www.teatroflorcandela.org

Image Credits
1-carmela lamberti (in red hat) and Jan Brin one of her student in low Greenville-Teaching Italian (selfie).

2-carmela lamberti and Carlos Ortega as Maria and Guglielmo in 2020 play: Maria Odyssey- Photo by Ana Lopez

3-carmela lamberti and Diana Gomez as Pulcinella and Arlequina in 2020 play: Maia Odyssey- Photo by Ana Lopez

4-carmela lamberti as a statue. Lobby of the  Moody performance Hall. Show in honor of Medellin. Photo by a friend.

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