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NIAF Awards Jennie DeLuca Legary a Full-Tuition Scholarship at Accademia Teatro Alla Scala in Milan, Italy


Contact: Elissa Ruffino, 202-939-3106 or

Jennie_Legary(Washington, D.C. – December 16, 2105) A native of Cupertino, Calif. and former independent contractor at APPLE Inc., Jennie DeLuca Legary is the recipient of a full-tuition scholarship from the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) in partnership with Accademia Teatro alla Scala, one of the most renowned institutions for training professionals in the performing arts, and Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Business (MIP), an internationally recognized management school.

“The National Italian American Foundation is extremely proud to award Jennie, a young, talented Italian American, who is passionate about music and her career, with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fulfill her educational and professional goals,” said Anita Bevacqua McBride, a member of the NIAF Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Foundation’s Scholarship and Grant committee. “Through the NIAF scholarship, Jennie will further build upon her professional experience in the performing arts and be a part of two of the most prestigious cultural and business institutions in the world.”

Legary will receive 13,500 euros (approximately $14,500) to complete a Master’s Degree in Performing Arts Management. The 18-month program in English begins January 16, 2016, and concludes in June 2017.  The 1,500 hours of education and training includes classroom meetings, exercises and simulations, direct theatre experience, and a final project.  Additionally, Legary will complete a three-to-six month internship at performing arts institutions throughout Italy and aboard.  The internship also provides Legary with networking opportunities for future employment in her field.  The teaching staff of the program includes 100 specialists in theatre and management who work with performing arts institutions in Italy and worldwide.

“I am honored to accept this award from NIAF, and I am grateful that they have chosen me,” Legary said. “I am very proud of my Italian heritage. Our DeLuca family hails from Palermo, Sicily, in which my great-grandfather Salvatore was born. He married Celestina Noto of St. Louis, Mo., a regular Metropolitan Opera Broadcast listener, whom he proudly nicknamed ‘Jennie’ after the famous singer. Together with their children they relocated to San Jose, Calif. I carry her namesake, her initials, and her love of opera. I’m passionate about two things that are necessary in my life, to be surrounded by music and to share in its beauty. With the NIAF scholarship and the program at Accademia Teatro alla Scala, I hope to continue making connections both in technology and in classical music, for my generation and for future generations to come. I believe that the importance of the performing arts today is that it teaches us, that we walk out of the opera house moved, and in awe of our own humanity.”

Throughout her career, Legary has been exposed to a wide variety of cultural experiences and endeavors in performing arts, technology and business. She began her study of music at age five with taking piano lessons, singing in a choir, and exploring popular music and musical theatre.  She later discovered her passion for opera while studying at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  As a mezzo soprano, Legary has performed at concerts and in opera roles in New York City and abroad. Her business experience includes working as an assistant manager at a national property management company in New York, developing communications, advertising, marketing, auditing and social media skills. Most recently, she worked as an independent contractor for APPLE Inc., as a quality analyst in research. She is a board member of the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation, creating their online social media ‘Ask/Accept – Anti-Bullying Campaign for VBF’, and was a guest artist at their New York City gala.

Presently, she has started an ensemble called JACOPERA in Manhattan with two opera singing friends. Their goal is to make opera tangible, relevant, and accessible. In November, they performed at Opera America in New York City, and are making their West Coast debut at the Le Petit Trianon Theatre in downtown San Jose, Calif. at the beginning of the new year.

The program is also offered in partnership with MIP Politecnico di Milano Graduate School of Management, in collaboration with Piccolo Teatro di Milano, with the advocacy of Opera Europa, an international service organization representing more than 150 renowned opera houses and festivals.

For additional information on the program, visit:

The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) is a non-profit organization with its headquarters in Washington, D.C., and dedicated to preserving and promoting the heritage of Italian Americans. Visit