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From A to Zeani

zeani_traviataAn appearance by legendary diva Virginia Zeani is but one of the highlights of tomorrow night’s Marcello Giordani Foundation Concert and Dinner.

The Romanian soprano is a special guest of honor at the event to receive the Marcello Giordani Lifetime Achievement award. On the musical portion of the program, the tenor (in between performances of La fanciulla del West here in NYC) will offer Neapolitan and Italian love songs from  his forthcoming CD, “Ti Voglio Tanto Bene” with conductor Steven Mercurio.

He will then join Met colleagues Lise Lindstrom, Stephen Costello and a group of young artists for selections from Romeo et Juliette, Un ballo in maschera, La bohème, Pagliacci, Turandot, Il barbiere di Siviglia and Andrea Chenier.

If you’re at all like La Cieca, listening to all that singing will stimulate your appetite, and so you will be delighted to hear that following the concert there will be a lavish gala dinner catered by “Fresco by Scotto.”

Proceeds from the gala are earmarked for the organization of the first Marcello Giordani International Vocal Competition, to be held in Italy the Spring of 2011.

It’s all tomorrow night, December 8, at St. Jean Baptiste Church, Lexington Avenue at 76th Street, and a few tickets for the whole affair (or for just the musical part of the entertainment) are still available through the Marcello Giordani Foundation.

16 comments

  • Camille says:

    Truly a beautiful Traviata.
    Wonder what L’evasia feels when she sees her countrywoman’s picture in this role?

    • Gualtier M says:

      Gheorghiu has gone on record in print interviews that Zeani is one of her idols and the model for Violetta. She thinks that Zeani should be as famous as Callas and I agree with her.

  • sensibility says:

    Angela spoke a lot about her immense admiration for ‘Mami(mommy) Virginia’ as she calls her.Also Ms.Zeani was many times in Angela and Roberto’s house having a close relationship with them.There’are several lines about listening to Ms.Z’s recordings of Traviata in the interview
    Angela gave before her Traviata with Valenti.In a Romanian interview Angela’s biggest surprise was meeting Ms.Zeani in LOndon.What astonished me was AG saying at the sight of Ms.Zeani”I feel like kneeling in front of her”.Sometimes the proudest artist can be humble.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5S7VFBM82c

    • Camille says:

      That is good to kno--that she can acknowledge the wonderful Zeani’s marvelous abilities.

  • kashania says:

    Is Marcello Giordani independentally wealthy? How does he have his own foundation and now vocal competition?

    • La Cieca says:

      I make no pretense to knowing Giordani’s financial situation, but part of the point of this gala is to be a fundraiser for the foundation.

    • Gualtier M says:

      Could be a situation like the Beverly Sills Award that the Met gives out -- it is in the name of Beverly Sills but the money is provided by Agnes Varis. Perhaps Mr. Giordani has a wealthy patron who is bankrolling the activities of the foundation. There are tax advantages in this.

  • I saw Giordani on Thanksgiving Eve, shopping in Fairway on UWS. Qu’il est grand et qu’il est beau!

    • iltenoredigrazia says:

      Zeani looks beautiful in that pic but it’s ironic that she’s wearing the Act 1 costume from the 1966 Met production. That was her Met debut and her only Met appearance in New York. The critics were very negative and she withdrew. A year or two later she sang in I Vespri for the Met in Newport.

      I got to see her in Rossini’s Otello when the Rome Opera visited NY around 1968. I enjoyed her singing.

      • auracentral says:

        She actually has 2 Violettas in the same week. I saw one, and I was also at the Newport Vespri. Neither was ideal at the time for her. Her Decca recital is still one of the best “calling card” recitals ever.

  • NYCOQ says:

    How many singers take the time to do real charity work other than showing up in a gown and singing a couple of songs? Bravo to Mr. Giordani. Non-profit and fundraising is hard going particularly in this economy. He is truly giving back.

  • zinka says:

    It was a thrill for me to see my beloved diva-friend (and adopted sorella0 Virginia Zeani at the Fanciulla last night. Any collector of pirated (ooops0 recordings knows only too well he fabulous output…..especially favorites for me are Zelmira,Piccolo Marat, Il Console(LORD!!That aria is phenomenal…Da questo di (To this we’ve come.)and several of the 648 Violettas she did..
    Virginia actually could sing almost every opera in the rep…but look…75 is plenty….I always give her my list of those she could have done like Salome,Lucrezia Borgia,Norma,Iris,Maria Stuarda, and on and on….If you Google her you will find special info,sites,etc…..Virginia just turned 85 and a special tribute book was issued for her with many people(me too) contributing.
    Angela loves and models her, except that Angela’s voice is now too tiny to make any impact…but at least Angela is today the SOLE exponent of the kind of verismo singing that Olivero,Muzio,Zeani,Soviero made famous.
    Gee.Charlie..tell us what you REALLY think…..

  • Camille says:

    Is anyone returned from the Marcello Giordani Foundtion gala yet?

    What was it like and how do they honor Mme. Zeani?

    Did anyone sing anything particularly well?

    Youth wants to know.