OPI - Orchestra Popolare Italiana
The Orchestra Popolare Italiana is Auditorium Parco della Musica's resident orchestra devoted to Italian folk music. It was founded in July 2007 and is directed by Ambrogio Sparagna.
The orchestra is composed mainly of young musicians from various regions of Italy, with about twenty singers and instrumentalists, and it is distinctive in having musical instruments from Italian folk tradition such as the zampogne (a type of bagpipes), shawms, accordions, tambourines, mandolins, violins, chitarre battente (4 or 5-stringed guitars), hurdy-gurdies, lyres, arpicelle (an ancient type of harp), conch-shell trumpets and many other "minor" instruments that feature in the extensive national repertoire of ethnic music.
The new project being promoted by Fondazione Musica per Roma takes the form of an original tool for promoting, re-working and spreading knowledge of the Italian musical repertoires of oral tradition through producing original programmes devoted both to regional repertoires and to the forms and genres of national folklore.
The activities of the Orchestra Popolare Italiana are structured in special individual projects of collaboration with Italian musicians and artists, making it a vehicle for cultural promotion and a driving force for passing down age-old knowledge.