Antonio CANELLA – Ferrara’s mysterious ocarina makeradmin
Giuseppe DONATI (1836-1925) was the ‘inventor’ of the ocarina. His hometown was Budrio in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, about 15 kilometres east of Bologna, where today there is even an ocarina museum. Other makers sprung up and are known as the Budrio makers. They include Ercole MEZZETTI (1841-1918) & Alberto Napoleone MEZZETTI (1843-1906), Cesare VICINELLI (1841-1920), Emilio CESARI (1888-1962), Guido CHIESA (1884-1965), Arrigo MIGNANI (1918-1997) and Fabio MENAGLIO (1967-present day).
But another maker also set up shop in FERRARA, about 50 kilometres away from Budrio, and his name was Antonio CANELLA (1861?-1952?). Little is known about Antonio Canella, other than that he was active making ocarinas from around 1878 to 1940. He worked on various types of double ocarinas and invented the ‘Bi-ocarina’ (one on top of the other), with a metal piston to change the pitch.
Since there seem to be very few Canella ocarinas in public museums or for sale, we can only assume that he did not produce so many, or they are perhaps all broken or stashed away somewhere! However, he did produce some very fancy-looking ones… exquisitely made to take your breath away.