Operawala is joining forces with the Italian Embassy Cultural Centre to commemorate the death centenary of Italian composer Francesco Paolo Tosti. Tosti lived in England for a large part of his musical career and he was one of the favourites of the the elite in the UK at the turn of the century. He was also Singing Master to the Royal Family. With songs that once enthralled many a stately home, Oscar Castellino and Nadine Crasto will transport audiences to a time when salon music was at its height and Tosti its champion.
We asked Oscar to tell us more about his concert series –
“Operawala will demonstrate the way in which someone showcasing the power of classical singing in an operatic style can also feel at home in the Indian market. With that I mean the sounds will not be foreign to the Indian ear. What may have been foreign is the use of foreign languages. I have therefore interspersed the concert with English songs. As for the songs in Italian and French, I will help the audience concentrate on the music and emotion expressed to get the most out of those songs. Not understanding the lyrics may be a blessing in disguise to audiences, as they can then concentrate on the music, surpassing the barrier of words that may distract them. And for the performers, Nadine and I, it will be a challenge to cultivate the music with colours that will best express what we want to communicate. I want to make it clear that the music we will be performing are all songs by Francesco Paolo Tosti, and although they are favourites with opera singers, they are not actually songs from operas. I use the word opera, because that is the term that will best describe Western classical singing to new audiences. To answer your question, yes, I can promise the listener a fulfilling and necessary experience. Getting acquainted with classical music and singing has changed the way I think and I live.”
The first concert is targeted towards student audiences at St. Xavier’s College, but open to the public. This will be held on Tuesday, February 23 at 1:30 pm at the chapel at St Xavier’s College, Mumbai. Of the two concerts in Goa, the one in Benaulim is open to the public. The Goa Chitra Museum will be its venue on March 8. Mysuru will be the next stop on March 13, while Pune’s Mazda Hall will be the final destination on March 20.
The Italian Embassy Cultural Centre – Mumbai Section, or Istituto Italiano di Cultura (IIC) is part of a worldwide network of 83 Italian government offices located in all continents with a view to promoting Italian culture and civilization. IICs organize cultural events, offer courses of Italian language and civilization, facilitate contacts between Italian and local researchers and scholars and cooperate with local cultural organizations and academic institutions.
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