Enrico Caruso was born in Naples Italy in 1873 into a working class neighborhood. His father was a mechanic who expected his son to follow his trade. His mother objected and he was sent to be educated where his clear angelic voice was discovered in a church choir, and his singing career was born. Whether or not you are Italian or an opera buff, the...

Like many celebrated musicians, Barbara Strozzi has a Facebook page with thousands of followers. Though in this, her 400th birthday year, she’s hardly a household name like Beethoven or Mozart, the page is active with announcements of concerts, album releases and articles. Named “la virtuosissima cantatrice” — the most dazzling singer — by a contem...

The year was 1960. John F. Kennedy announced his candidacy for president, and the civil rights movement was gaining traction. Frankie Avalon, Elvis Presley and The Drifters topped the charts. And a crooner from Bergen County released a novelty Christmas song about a donkey that, nearly six decades later, remains a love-it-or-hate-it holiday earworm...

Want something fabulous to play during Christmas dinner? Here’s a wonderful “Yule Log” video from Tony Bennett featuring many amazing holiday classics accompanied by delightful animation. Bennett’s original artwork is the imagery for the yule log animation from a painting titled,“Home Is Where The Heart Is,” which he initially created for the Ameri...

The first songs most people hear as children are nursery rhymes and lullabies. The first songs Ahmet Zappa heard as a child were the shock-treatment tracks on Hot Rats, a groundbreaking 1969 set by his father Frank. “This is the stuff I was drinking my milk bottles to,” Zappa said with a giggle. “It’s magical.” He isn’t the only one who thinks so....

Shepherdstown Music and Dance invites the public to discover the beauty and magic of an Italian Christmas in this year’s holiday concert. Michela Musolino and the band, Rosa Tatuata, bring seasonal favorites of Sicily. The group includes founder and singer Michela Musolino, Phil Passantino, Charlie Rutan and Jeffrey Panettieri. Love of Sicilian and...

World-class Italian guitarist and singer Beppe Gambetta will perform two concerts next month at the Prallsville Mills in Stockton, N.J. Gambetta has found a second home in Stockton, and each year invites one or two wonderful musicians he has met along the road to join him for a special performance at the Prallsville Mills. This year, his guests wil...

"Secret love bound by silence." Once the most performed opera of its time, Donizetti's Bel Canto drama, La favorite, features some of the most challenging arias ever written. Woven into this now-rarely performed opera is a classic love triangle among a noblewoman, king and warrior. Set in early 14th century Spain, this triangle involves the King of...

The element of scale is crucial to the production of any theatrical work. And while “The Light in the Piazza” is set against the artistic magnificence of Florence and Rome, and its lushly lyrical score by Adam Guettel is infused with elements of grand opera (some of it sung in Italian), the show is, at its core, a profoundly intimate work about lov...

Great success on December 12, for the duo Roberta Gambarini and Jeb Patten wo performed at the Embassy of Italy. The Italian jazz singer and local pianist delighted the embassy guests with a program of jazz music, with some great American and Italian classics, interpreted in an innovative and engaging way. Alongside some improvisations, the duo als...