On Tuesday 25th April 2017, I had the honour to attend the Johann Strauss Society of the Philippines 2017 Gala Concert, together with Marquis Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini. On this occasion, we were very pleased to hear marvellous Soprano Rachelle Gerodias, whose husband, Baritone Park Byeong In, was seated at our table, under the direction of our friend Maestro Ruggero Barbieri.
The programme was full of joy and reminded me very much of the Vienna New Year Concert. Many members of the Manila High Society were present, among whom our beloved Opera Maecenas, Madame Zenaida (Nedy) Tantoco and her husband, Mr. Patrick Jacinto, Mrs. Olga Severino Martel, Consul General of Monaco Mrs. Fortune Ledesma, Mrs. Diana Jeanne (DJ) Lopez, Mrs. Agnes Huibonhoa, Consul of Gambia, Professor Raul Sunico and 21 ambassadors and their wives, among whom His Excellency Massimo Roscigno, Ambassador of Italy and his beautiful wife, Agnes Ventura and His Excellency Rida El Fassi, Ambassador of Morocco, etc…
On 25th March 2017 took place in Budapest a Gala Concert, organised by Italian Music Academy “Ariadimusica” and HC Welth ltd. On the initiative of Maestro Gianni Maria Ferrini and of Dottor Alessandro Stacchini, four great Opera singers from Italy went to Hungary to perform in the prestigious Boscolo Hotel in the Heart of Pest under the direction of Maestro Sergio La Stella of the National Opera of Rome. These four singers were Giacinta Nicotra, well-known and gifted Soprano; Irene Molinari, emerging Diva with a fire temper Mezzo-Soprano; Dario Di Vietri, young, talented and handsome Tenor and last but not least, famous Italian Baritone Carlo Guelfi.
The idea to gather them was the one of Maestro Sergio La Stella, a famous conductor and recitalist, from the National Opera of Rome who toured the whole world in the most famous theatres together with Maestro Gianni Ferrini. Together, they set up a programme, uniting romances, arias and duets of important Opera authors, such as Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, etc… Dottor Alessandro Stacchini who is the General Manager of HC Welth in Italy, the Rome-based limited producing renowned nutritional supplements, provided the adequate means to achieve the project in the best conditions.
Dario Di Vietri “Nessun Dorma” (al pianoforte, M° Sergio La Stella)
The marvellous historic location of the Boscolo was unanimously chosen because of its links to the History of Hungarian Culture and the famous New York Café, symbol of the Magyar Modernity at the very beginning of the 20th Century.
More than 500 persons came to this fabulous gala concert, even though Othello was a serious challenger in the Budapest National Opera, not far from the Boscolo at all. Her Excellency Madame Marie-France André, Ambassador of Belgium to Hungary arrived with her Son, Xavier Fonder together with two distinguished noblemen of the Magyar High Society. Many personalities and music lovers brought family and friends to attend this unique performance.
Maestro Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini came on purpose from Rome to co-ordinate the whole show, with a taste of “semi-scenico” moves and a play between light and shadow, which was absolutely perfect to underline the intensity of the interpretations of all five artists, who gave the best of their art, honouring the Hungarian public with the utmost voices of the Italian Musical panorama nowadays.
Ariadimusica & HC Welth invited the whole cast and some priviliged hosts to dine in the enchanting restaurant of the Boscolo Hotel. The conversations were brilliant and relaxed. The Hungarian tradition of the Barack Palinka, traditional apricot digestive, gave an end to the gastronomic part.
Another surprise awaited us: cars were at our disposal to tour Budapest by night and we discovered, blissfully amazed, the architectural marvels of the Pearl of the Danube until very late. This is why Budapest remains so special, especially to my heart…
In March 2013, the Royal Ballet of Cambodia was invited by the Printemps des Arts to perform in Monaco. Her Royal Highness Princess Norodom Buppha Devi led the delegation, seconded by His Royal Highness Prince Sisowath Tesso. Their Serene Hignesses Prince Albert and Princess Charlene attended the Première and Her Royal Highness Princess Caroline of Hanovre attended the Gala Evening.
On this occasion, my dear friend, French photographer Alain Hanel, as the official photographer of the Printemps des Arts shooted marvellous pictures of the dancers on stage and he decided to set up an exhibition of his works in Monaco.
His son Julien Pierre Hanel gave the magic touch to the photos by re-working graphically with the utmost modern techniques to render the glimpses of fantasy and glitters, characteristical of the Cambodia Royal Ballet.
This initiative was definitely supported by the famous brand of French supermarkets, Carrefour and their Foundation for Arts. Mrs. Marie Madeleine Liesse and her Responsible for Marketing, Mr. Hubert Dupont-Sonneville were enthusiastic promoters and this is how we ended on 9th March 2017 enjoying this exclusive venue in one of the main Shopping Mall of Monaco.
The Apsaras will continue their enchanting dances on the walls of Fontvieille until 7th April 2017.
As reported in “L’Opera – International Magazine” of February 2017, the Opera Theatre of Cosenza, known as the “Rendano Theatre” hosted on 29th December 2016 a unique special Gala Evening, following the napolitan concept of “pastiche”, uniting in one show, music, opera and dance for the pleasure of the public.
This initiative was due to our Beloved friend, Mrs. Luigia Pastore Fiorentino, who founded the Polimnia Association to promote opera and music, especially for young people (but not only!). She asked Maestro Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini and myself to imagine a kind of dream to be put on stage in a form of an oniric trip from Naples to Paris, crossing Vienna in order to lead the public to welcome the new year to come.
We decided to put together French Literature with Napolitan poems, “La Veuve Joyeuse” with “La Traviata” and many other jolly and colourful pieces of music and dance, so to have a delightful mixture of glamour and naughty songs to accompany our trip towards the end of 2016.
A marvellous cast of fabulous artists of either music and theatre world gave this creation a special sense of artistic expression, which was definitely appreciated. In my name and the one of Maestro Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini, we want to extend our warmest thanks to Maria Carmela Conti, Sarah Baratta, Silia Valente, Glenda Sevald Pirandello, the brothers Stefano and Andrea Tanzillo, Federico Veltri, Luca Bruno, Andrea Bauleo, Pasquale Allegretti Gravina, Rino Amato, Antonio Fratto and his “Sol Vox Cantori” choir, the clarinettists of the Conservatorio “S.Giacomantonio” directed by Giorgio Feroleto, the choreographer Antonella Ciappetta and her dancers, and of course, last but not least, the whole staff of the production, Francesco Liuzi, Giovanni Pirandello, Otello Camponeschi and Fabrizio Onali.
A special mention to our favourite: Adriano Pirandello, 11 years old, who made a fantastic first stage appearance, speaking out and loud a sweet poem of his illustrous ancestor, Luigi Pirandello… about love and time…!
Many thanks to Mr. Luigi Allegretti Gravina for the nice photos on stage !
On Friday 17th February 2017 took place the vernissage of a very special exhibition of our friend Fabrizio Onali, with Giuseppe Ussani d’Escobar as Art Curator.
Fabrizio’s inspiration is mainly the tranformation of precious antique materials into splendid ornamental art pieces. Fabrizio collaborated many times with his partner, Otello Camponeschi to opera creations, especially the ones of Maestro Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini.
More recently, I had the joy to wear Fabrizio’s creation during a special Show at the Rendano Opera Theatre in Cosenza. He set together a piece of golden silk of Cambodia with a magnificent Renaissance jacket, to make me look like a character of Shakespeare in some strange twilight dreams….
His exhibition in Rome will last until 17th April. Please go to have a look, it is worth seeing!
On Monday 27th February 2017, His Most Reverend Excellency, Monsignor Miguel Maury Buendia, Archbishop of Italica and Apostolic Nunzio to Romania has granted me the honour of a Gala Dinner in Bucharest, remembering that we were celebrating twenty years of personal, faithful and sincere friendship.
The day after, I had the joy to meet up with my Dear Friend, His Excellency Ambassador Bogdan Tataru-Cazaban with whom I meditated on the maening of Lent in the Christian tradition.
As every year, the Prize of the “Marchigiano dell’Anno”, i.e. of the Marchigiano of the Year was held on June 22nd, 2016 in the prestigious location of the Italian Senate, in the heart of Rome in Palazzo Madama.
I was extremely honoured to present the prize to my friend, Sergio Palma, who was thus rewarded by the Italian Presidency due to his admirable work in the field of Oil Trade and Management that he fulfilled all along these years of work within the Italian firm of AGIP.
Needless to say that his wife, Margareth (of Indonesian descent) and his son David were tremendously proud on this very special occasion.
Our thoughts were directed to our common friend, Princess Giulia Pignatelli Panichi Seghetti who had us meet years ago in her lovely mansion of Castel di Lama, Borgo Seghetti Panichi, together with Marquess Vincenzo Grisostomi Travaglini, present in the Senate on this unique venue.