The Voice of Italy

Last night’s operatic gala in aid of fund raising for restoring Bagni d Lucca’s Contessa Casalini Public Park which had also been devastated by last March’s shattering hurricane was a complete success.

The elegant neo-classical setting of Ponte a Serraglio’s casinò made for a perfect scenario for the three singers, Simone Tanini (baritone), Erika Fonzar (mezzo soprano) and our own Claudio Sassetti (tenor) to display their skills in a variety of arias and songs ranging from Verdi, through Puccini to Neapolitan which they did with élan and enthusiasm.

The pianist was Ettore Candela who not only accompanied the singers, who all sang without any payment, but also played three virtuosistic pieces he’d composed.

There were some lovely flower arrangements, again given freely:

The presenter, actress Mikela Innocenti, interspersed the items with recitations about life and nature. She reminded us that we would never see the new trees in all their full glory in our lifetime but would have the joy of realising that future generations would be able to enjoy them.

I am quite sure that the capacity audience gave generously for the restoration fund. The whole evening was a wonderful example of how this part of the world can pull together and forget any differences when it comes to emergency situations and when it comes to giving something back to the community.

Bravissimi to all concerned!


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