Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Two Contrasting Musical Evenings

Puglia, Italy. June-2024.

Secret Trulli. Saturday 15-June-2024.

An evening of folk music under the stars. From the New World and the Old, spanning the centuries from 17th century ballads, featuring the serpent, to Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell. A magical evening in the garden of an unspoiled trulli.

This was a word-of-mouth event organised by our hosts who wanted it to be an informal gathering of friends and an opportunity to meet and make new friends. It was called a "Secret Trulli" as they kept the exact location a secret until the day before. It turned out to be 30 minutes walk from Cisternino so we planned to walk there and back. Our friends Steve and Trudi drove, picking up us as we were nearly there and kindly gave us a lift back, saving our legs.

It has been a long time since I have seen a serpent being played, not since the mid 1980s when I used to regularly go and see the New London Consort play early music. The soprano here had an amazing voice.

There was food and drink and a chance to mingle before and afterwards with our hosts and their friends. We had some very interesting chats.

Il Bel Canto. Masseria Torre Maizza. Thursday 20-Jun-2024.

A night at the opera. Last year we got a preview of the Festival della Valle D’Itria 2023, this year it was a sampler of arias from the last 50 years of the festival compered by the artistic director, Sebastian Schwarz, and held in the ludicrously expensive venue of the Masseria Torre Maizza.

La storia del Festival della Valle d'Itria
con gli artisti dell'Accademia del Belcanto "Rodolfo Celletti" di Martina Franca


  • Christoph Willibald Gluck da Orphée et Euridice: "T'ai perdu mon Eurydice”,
    Saori Sugiyama, mezzosoprano
  • Vincenzo Bellini da Norma: "Casta Diva”
    Juliette Chauvet, soprano
  • Friedrich von Flotow da Marta:"M'apparì tutt'amor”
    Pepe Hannan, tenore
  • Gioachino Rossini da Semiramide: "Bel raggio lusinghier”
    Carmen Larios Caparrós, soprano
  • Luigi Cherubini da Médée: "Vous voyez de vos fils la mère”
    Louise Guenter, soprano
  • Gioachino Rossini da Il turco in Italia: "Bella Italia, alfin ti miro"
    Omar Cepparolli, basso
    Camilla Difonzo, soprano
  • M° Giorgio D'Alonzo, pianoforte.

Entirely unplanned, Mary and Trudi showing great taste in matching dresses!

The ticket price included a glass of fizz and some hors d'oeuvres.

Sebastian as the musical director of the Festival Val d’Itria acted as MC and giving an introduction to each aria, when and where first performed, etc.

Saori Sugiyama, mezzosoprano.

Juliette Chauvet, soprano.

Pepe Hannan, tenore.

Carmen Larios Caparrós, soprano.

Louise Guenter, soprano. No pictures as she was hidden behind a pillar.

Camilla Difonzo, soprano, Omar Cepparolli, basso.

Afterwards we drove down to Savelletri for a late supper at Osteria del Porto.

A great pair of musical evenings, so very different in style and content but both very entertaining.

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