On 21 November we concluded the 2013 academic year in a very entertaining way. The wonderful Dante Musica Viva choir provided most of the entertainment, singing seven pieces (Il tango delle rose, E qui comando io, ’O surdato ’nnammurato , Funiculì funiculà, Il coro degli zingari (the Anvil Chorus), ’O sole mio and the Christmas song Tu scendi dalle stelle).
The ‘stars’ of the choir, soprano Virginia Banyard and tenor Livio Chicco sang two great duets (Quando sento che mi ami and Il mio mondo) which tested and displayed their wonderful vocal skills, particularly Virginia’s high range.
Rod Fenwick (who accompanies the choir on the guitar) and David Wilson (who sings in the choir but also learns the guitar) played a short piece for us and then our inimitable choir leader/musician treated us to La Spagnola with his piano accordion.
We also had two unscheduled appearances: Giovanni Andriolo (one of the ‘three tenors’ of the choir) had brought his grandchildren to whom he’s teaching Italian songs. James, Annabel and Oliver sang E qui comando io; and then little Chloe sang the first verse of La mula de Parenzo, helped by ‘nonno’ and accompanied by Rod.
The entertainment concluded with the dancing of Spanish Sevillanas by our member Marie Carmen Prego and her friend Luis Bonilla. Marie Carmen looked resplendent in her floral green ruffled dress and Luis looked very dapper in his black outfit which included bolero waistcoat, red sash and black hat. Marie Carmen has learnt Spanish folk dancing since she was a child, and continues to dance whenever the opportunity arises.
The 80+ people present for the celebration also enjoyed the variety of food on offer: the Society had arranged pizzas, dips, nibbles and panettone as well as drinks, but a great number of members brought a plate to share with others. Particularly popular was Vittorio Monteleone’s dessert that, despite its large size, disappeared in a flash.
As MC for the evening, I took the opportunity to express the Society’s gratitude to a number of people: the choir singers and musicians (Louise, Angela, Rod and Ben) with a special mention for Francesco Sofo as leader and musician and Saverio as Manager and also trumpeter; to David Wilson for managing the sound system for choir performances and for technical support for our cultural events; to formal course teachers and conversation group leaders; to Sue for making our coffee and tea each Thursday evening; and to all members for their continued support of the Society. I expressed the hope that current members will continue their association with us next year, and wished everyone a happy festive season.