A Cappella Italiana – what’s going on in Belcanto Country?
by Michele Manzotti, journalist (Firenze)
Italy is known worldwide as the Belcanto country. Unfortunately, even if many Italian singers are famous, a cappella style is not very popular. In fact singing is considered more a practice for a soloist, due to our opera tradition: After the madrigals era, great composers decide to focus their efforts on the opera genre, that in past centuries became very popular. Today Italian groups are not so well followed by audiences as they deserve. The Anglo-Saxon tradition is more appreciated by the relatively low number of a cappella fans in Italy. But something has been changing during the past 20 years: some ensembles had the possibility to reach the stage of San Remo Italian popular music festival (Baraonna, Neri per Caso, Voci Atroci), others have been selected for the Italian version of X-Factor (Cluster, Seiottavi) or other tv programmes (L’Una e Cinque, Alti e Bassi). And there are some festivals or occasions to hear live a cappella ensembles on a high level. Great examples are Solevoci in Varese that will be on again on June 5th and 6th 2010, Vivavoce in Treviso, Voceania in Rome). The road to cover the gap with other countries is still long. But the professional work of the bands is highly appreciated abroad, as the four CARA Awards won by Cluster demonstrate. Hope it will be the same by bigger audiences in Italy itself.
It’s great to learn more about the European music scenes – help the community to learn more: If you have additional information concerning Italy or other countries in Europe or worldwide, feel free to sent your blog post suggestions to us. If you want to make a comment on Michele’s message from Italy, great, go ahead and let everybody know.