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Hi everybody!

My name is Alessandro and I am an Italian tenor and pianist. I live in Newmarket, Suffolk, and I teach Singing and Piano. I think mus...

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Back to the UK

 Hi everybody!

After a summer when I could luckily enjoy the pleasure and joy of making again music together with wonderful colleagues and friends in Italy, I am back in the UK.
And here... the Newmarket Music Box is waiting for us! We organised a brand new series of online musical conferences, one per month, for the next 3 months. And there is another great news: we have a new friend!
Alice Haylock will do the first talk, on Sunday 25th October and I will do the second one, on Sunday 22nd of November. The last one will be on Sunday 13th December, with our new friend and wonderful singer Naomi Rogers. She was born and bred in Newmarket and we are so lucky she joined our team!




You will, of course, find more news here on my blog, but why not following the Newmarket Music Box on socials too?
Here are the Facebook and Twitter pages; the NMB is also on Instagram now: nmkmusicbox.
To attend the talks there is a small attendance fee of £5 per household. You can register and pay the fee here.

Come and join us!


Monday, 10 August 2020

Concerts again!

Hi everybody! It's been so long since the last time I posted something and I hope you are keeping well and safe!

The last few months have been one of the strangest periods in our lives, and our minds were quite busy trying to understand what was going on and how to go on in the best possible way, despite the stress, maybe fear, and the problems we all know very well now.

Many people found new ways of doing what they used to do, ways to get over the impossibility to meet other people, colleagues, friends, family. As musicians, we lost a lot of opportunities to make music and to play for an audience live, in a theatre, in a concert hall, or even in a living room. But now things are gradually getting better and better, and we shall be grateful for this, and very careful.

I came back to Italy nearly two months ago: I had, like all other teachers, to move my lessons online, so I tried to get the best out of this situation and I thought this would have been a wonderful opportunity to be at home with my family longer than usual. Finally, two weeks ago, I had my first concert after the lockdown. It was a very moving evening for me, the first opportunity to make music again with a great musician and friend, the pianist Alberto Miodini, and to sing again in my hometown for many friends and members of my family. It was amazing to feel the wonderful sensation of living the music together with so many people (well, not so many, as following the new rules to avoid the spreading of the virus, only half the seats available), so nice to feel again that incredible and magic connection between the artists performing and the audience. The theme of the concert was "Fathers and Sons" and we performed songs by Schubert, Loewe, Wolf, Mahler and Strauss which are about the relationship between a father and a son, and some songs by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and by Leopold, his father, and Franz Xaver, his son. Moreover, one of Alberto's friend, the composer Emilio Ghezzi, wrote for us a very beautiful piece, especially for this occasion.

Here you can listen to some of these songs:




Last Saturday I had a second concert, and that was something quite new to me. With Anna Viola and Raffaele Prestinenzi, we sang a selection from 3 musicals: The Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story and The Man of La Mancha. Anna and Raffaele were first Christine and Erik from The Phantom, then I was Tony and Anna Maria in West Side Story; finally, Raffaele gave his voice to Don Quichotte, Anna to Dulcinea, and I was the funny and faithful Sancho Panza. Michele Bravin played the piano and we had great fun!

Now I will still be teaching this week, and then finally I will take some weeks off (even though I will have some concerts to do). In September I will start with the lessons again, and the concert schedule is getting busier, as organizers are trying to make up for the events they had to cancel. I look forward to coming back to the UK, hoping to be able to meet soon my students and my friends!

Monday, 2 March 2020

Newmarket Music Box

Hi everybody,

yesterday we had a great Sunday at the March Newmarket Music Box meeting!
It was focused on Mozart's opera Don Giovanni, and I gave a talk about the opera and its context, plot and characters. I had a lot of fun preparing my speech, reading essays on Don Giovanni, listening to lots of recordings and choosing which examples and what excerpts play for the audience.
I also performed Don Ottavio's aria Dalla sua pace, with my good friend Cedric at the piano!
Here is a little excerpt from our performance:


We were very happy to meet some new people, attending our meetings for the first time, and we are already working for next month's event, taking place on April 5th. Stay tuned for more info!

The Newmarket Music Box is a music appreciation society I run with Alice Haylock, a clarinettist and music teacher. We organise a meeting every month: sometimes we set a theme and ask all the participants to suggest music related to it, or we organise talks like this one about Don Giovanni - but we are also planning a Salon Concert Series, with light concerts in people's living rooms, as they used to do before the spreading of the recordings and there was a piano in every home!

Please, find out more about the Newmarket Music Box and take a look at the Facebook and Twitter page and at our site!

Friday, 24 January 2020

Happy New Year!

Hi everybody,

it's been quite a while since my last post so first of all, let me wish you all the best in the New Year!


I spent the Christmas holiday back home in Italy, singing in some concerts with great colleagues and enjoying the time spent with my family and friends, and now I am back in Newmarket, ready for new musical adventures - not forgetting my wonderful students!

At the moment some interesting new projects are taking shape, but for now, let's start this 2020 with a piece of good news I am really excited about: on Saturday 4th April at 6 pm, I will perform Franz Schubert's Die Winterreise with the pianist Ralph Woodward at the Jesus College Chapel in Cambridge! I performed this incredibly beautiful song cycle many times in Italy, with my friend Michele Bravin and this will be the first time I can sing it here in the UK. This will be also my first song recital with Ralph (and I really hope the first of a long series), who is an amazing musician: I am honoured to have him at my side on this occasion!




I look forward to this concert and I hope to see you there!


Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Ashley Christmas Concert

Hi everybody!

December is coming... and it's time for Christmas concerts!
Before going back to Italy to sing at a couple of events and spend the Christmas holidays with my family and friends, I will have the pleasure to sing again in Ashley with my good friend Cedric on Saturday 7th December at 7 pm.
We will perform some Italian Opera arias and Tosti songs in the first half and, in the second part, festive songs and Christmas carols.
Moreover, my student Cristina Aquino will join us to sing two very beautiful and popular songs. Don't miss it!




Check out the friends of Ashley church Facebook page and see you at the concert!

Monday, 28 October 2019

Venice!

Dear friends,

some 10 days ago I was again, after some years, in Venice for a concert!
The Italian pianist Francesca Cardone, who lives in Salzburg, invited me to join her for a concert dedicated to Franz Liszt and his relationship with Italy: she performed some piano pieces inspired by Italian art and literature (Raffaello and Dante) and together we did the 3 Sonnets by Petrarca set to music by Liszt in the 1840s.
These 3 pieces are written in a style quite close to the Italian Opera, and as Liszt was a great pianist himself - one of the greatest ever indeed - also the piano part is very interesting.
Here you can listen to the second Sonnet, I' vidi in terra, first read by Anna, then performed by Francesca and me.

We had the great honor to perform in the wonderful Palazzo Grimani, which was the Doge's family Palace and today is a wonderful museum. It was a great emotion to sing in the hall on the first floor, with the big windows on the Canale on one side and on the Palace's court on the other.








Saturday, 5 October 2019

Fundraising Concert for the East Anglian Air Ambulance

Hi everybody!

A new fundraising event is organised by my friend Cedric Ghevaert - like every year, on the last Sunday of October Cedric invites lots of musician, professionals and amateurs, to perform and raise funds for a different charity. This time the money raised with tickets and donations will go to the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

I will perform some songs with Cedric and the beautiful Ave Maria for voice and organ written by Battista Pradal with the great organist Anne Page; there will be the Stagecoach Newmarket choir, members of the Newmarket Chamber Orchestra and many others!

Join us on Sunday 27th October at 4 pm at All Saints Church: tickets are on sale for £10 from Sweet's Newsagent in Newmarket or online. Tickets will also be available on the door for £15.

See you there!



Saturday, 21 September 2019

Next events

Good morning!

I'm very happy to invite you to a couple of events which will take place during the next weekend:

Saturday 28th September at 7.30 pm there will be an Italian Evening at St Mary's church in Cheveley to raise funds for the upkeep of the building.
I will be there helping to set the "Italian mood" singing some songs with my good friend Cedric Ghevaert:



The following day, Sunday 29th, there will be the first Newmarket Music Box meeting after the summer stop!


Beethoven and the Prog Rock group U.K.: what do they have in common?
They say that everyone in the world can be linked by no more than 6 connections: join us while I will take you through the six degrees of separation between Beethoven's 9th Symphony and U.K.'s In the Dead of Night!
Who knows the way which will lead us at the end of the path... Come at 101 Duchess drive, CB88AL at 2.30 pm next Sunday and you will find it out (and, of course, enjoy some cake...)!
Here's the link to the Facebook event:
https://www.facebook.com/events/496573107568547/

and to the Newmarket Music Box site:
https://newmarketmusicbox.wixsite.com/mysite

Music and food... How can't you join us?
Hope to see you there!

Friday, 20 September 2019

Back to the UK - Again!

Hi everybody!

I had a wonderful summer back in Italy, with quite a few concerts and the opportunity to spend again some time with family and friends.
More than anything, I appreciated the concert we did to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the publication of the first poetry book by the London poet Anthony Howell: with my great friends cellist Riccardo Pes and pianist Michele Bravin, we put up a programme revolving around Anthony's poems and his activity as performance artist and dancer. Amongst others, Riccardo and I performed three pieces by Battista Pradal and with Michele we did two songs by the great Michael Nyman - each one of them of course was a poem by Howell set to music. Two of the three Pradal pieces had in this occasion their world premiere (we performed the first one earlier this year in London at a poetry reading at The Room organised by Anthony himself), while I am quite sure the Nyman songs were performed for the first time in Italy. Anthony joined us to read his texts set to music by the two composers and a selection of the poems he wrote during his previous trips to Italy.
We were very glad the concert was sold out and the audience really appreciated the programme!


Anthony Howell  

Michele Bravin and Riccardo Pes

Michele and me

Michele, Anthony, composer Battista Pradal, me and Riccardo


I remember with pleasure two other performances. I sang again the role of Alfredo in Traviata by Giuseppe Verdi, precisely 15 years after my first performance of it and with the same soprano singing Violetta, my dear friend Anna Viola, and I had the opportunity to sing for the first time Rodolfo in Bohéme by Giacomo Puccini with a lot of great singers - amongst the others the wonderful Giorgio Caoduro!

The last concert of this summer was in Croatia, where I return every year with great pleasure, and a few days after it I was back to the UK, ready to finally have a good holiday in Scotland! We did a nice trip: we went near Dumfries, in the South, for a friend's wedding, and then we drove up to the North to take the ferry to the Orkney. Claudia and I really love Scotland and we had a wonderful time there!

Here I am, wearing my kilt at the wedding...

The Highlands


Claudia and I took this little plane at the Orkney to go from Mainland to the little island of Papa Westray!

Monday, 1 July 2019

Last Concerts in UK

Hi everybody!

The last weeks have been quite busy with performances in Dublin and London, the series of performance lectures on the History of Italian Opera and the beginning of the exam period for some of my students!

The Bloomsday concert at the National Library of Ireland in Dublin was a great success: the reading room was full of enthusiastic music and literature lovers, who enjoyed the links between Italian and Irish operas and James Joyce's life and books explained by Professor John McCourt.
My colleagues Ilaria Zanetti and Alessandra Sagelli from Italy and Simon Morgan and Noel O'Grady from Ireland were great and we had great fun!




Right after the concert, we moved to Áras an Uachtaráin, the presidential residence, to perform some pieces from the morning concert at the Garden Party for the President of Ireland and his guests. After the Party, the First Lady was very kind and invited us to stay for dinner with her, President Higgins and some guests, like the well-known film score composer Patrick Cassidy - we had a lovely time!




The week after, with my friend cellist Riccardo Pes, we joined Anthony Howell's poetry reading in London and performed for the first time in public "The Forbidden Rose", a setting by Battista Pradal of Howell's poem written especially for us.





Now, in a few days, I'll be back to Italy for a hot summer full of concerts!

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Italian Bloomsday

Hello everybody!

As the series of performance lectures on the History of Italian Opera is going on very well, I am getting ready for my last concert before going back home in Italy for the summer concert tour: next Sunday I will be in Dublin to sing for the Bloomsday!
Together with my friends soprano Ilaria Zanetti and pianist Alessandra Sagelli and Irish singers Simon Morgan and Noel O'Grady, we will perform at the National Library of Ireland for the "Italian Bloomsday". Ilaria and Alessandra are from Trieste - not far from my home, in the same region: Friuli - and Trieste has a special bond with Dublin, being the city where James Joyce lived between 1905 and 1906.
Our concert is part of the Bloomsday Festival, organised in partnership with the Italian Cultural Institute in Dublin. Here is the link at the event:
http://www.bloomsdayfestival.ie/fringe-programme-2019/2019/6/15/italian-bloomsday


The National Library of Ireland


After the concert, we will be guests at the Bloomsday Garden Party at Áras an Uachtaráin and we will perform for the President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins. That will be a great honour!