Test Drive - Page 64

Claudio is already making a name for himself and has recently returned from a successful performance of Verdi’s Otello where he took on the demanding role of Iago at the Sidney Opera House. The first half ended with the final moments of Act 1 from Tosca – the Te Deum, allowing all the performers to take part. Claudio, who had first performed the role of Scarpia in 2008, sang the part of this villainous chief of police with complete authority and conviction; he really was magnificent and together with the chorus of his fellow artists gave a thrilling finale to the first half. Jonathan Brandani and Aldo Dotto provided the skillful piano accompaniment. In the second half, the concert went from strength to strength and ended with all seven singers performing the famous Neapolitan song, O Sole Mio. As a friend remarked, there wasn’t a dry eye left in the house! Apart from the wonderful music, I was struck by the warm and friendly atmosphere of the occasion – perhaps in part due to the local Montecarlo wine and prosecco! – and it was good to see these young artists acknowledging two special members of the audience, Puccini’s elderly granddaughter, Simonetta and baritone and conductor Herbert Handt who has done so much over the years for the promotion of music in the Lucca area. Look out for the Oratorio degli Angeli Custodi’s next concert on Sunday 7th of September. Written by Paula Chesterman from Tuscan Talent http://www.music.tuscantalent.com/Music_Blogs/page39/Tuscany-Seminars-arts-food-wine-event-music.html