Come Fly With Me to Milan!
Shopping Before Take Off!
Hello every-one it’s been a fantastic week and for those of you who follow me on facebook will know I flew back from Milan on Tuesday. Since returning home I still haven’t fully unpacked as I hit the ground running with a show booked in on the Wednesday straight after my trip plus a mountain of e-mails I just had to answer. I’m sorry I’ve been a little slow in getting my first blog out to you this week but I hope the wait will have been worth it as I have so much to tell you all. With that in mind I have decided to split my Italian trip blogs up into three installments which will include Paul and I having tea with Mussolini – but more news on that in my next posts!
This was my second trip to Milan as Paul and I had been invited to perform in the town of Graffignana which sits just out-side the city. Last year I had been invited by the Mayor to perform in uniform and sing the music of the 1940s as Graffignana’s 1940s themed event attracted re-anactors and visitors from all over Italy, America and Brazil.
Paul and I Out & About in Graffignana!
Inside St Peter & Paul Apostles Church!
This year the theme was the 1950s and 60s and in true Fiona style I changed my look to suite the festival.
My first show of the weekend was on Saturday night at the Serata della Riconoscenza otherwise known as The Town Hall. Paul and I had left really early in the morning as our flight from Luton Airport was at 6.20am which meant our taxi picked us up at 3.30am. Although we were able to sleep a little on the plane it only takes about 2 hours to fly to Milan with the rest of the time wasted in the airport going from one boring que to another being checked for this and that. It’s such a relief when you are eventually up in the sky flying over the British Isles and once the plane touches down it really doesn’t take that long to reach Graffignana.
It’s always a delight to be invited back to a town I’ve played before and the one thing the Italians offer is amazing hospitality. On this occasion we flew out on the 7th October which was Paul’s birthday and we flew back on the 10th which was mine. So as soon as we checked into our hotel we were taken to a beautiful restaurant in the center of town for a wonderful meal. When it comes to eating the Italians don’t do things by half’s as the courses kept coming. I particularly enjoyed the octopus and the squid which is a favorite of mine as we sat down to Paul’s Birthday lunch with all our Italian friends.
On Stage Saturday Night at The Town Hall!
Veronica, Guiseppe and I at The Town Hall!
After lunch it was straight to work as I had a quick run through with the organist at St Peter and Paul Apostles Church ready for Sunday. I’d been requested to sing “Ave Maria” in Latin for Mass which went down so well last year with the congregation that I’d been asked to do it again this year. I always enjoy singing in church as the acoustics are perfect for a soprano and where I also don’t need a microphone. Afterwards it was a quick sound check at the Town Hall and then all change at the hotel before the Saturday’s show.
Graffignana has a great community and every year in October the town acknowledges people who have done good deeds for the town. I had been asked to perform 3 x 10 minute sets in between the prize giving, music from the 1920s – 1960s concluding with the Italian aria “O Mio Babbino Caro”, which as every Italian knows is from Puccini’s Opera “Gianni Schicchi”. It’s very interesting to see the people who are reconsidered which this year included a girl who makes a living as a professional blogger. She writes for the fashion houses of Milan and when she came up to receive her prize she looked particularly stylish with her ostrich feather shoes. Another gentleman who was acknowledged was the towns sausage maker who is famous for his wonderful salamis. When he came to the stand he received a wonderful round of applause from the audience which means he must be greatly respected and loved by the people of Graffignana.
While I was waiting to go on stage I was listening to my translator Veronica who was telling me their stories. Before the show Veronica’s daughter Luciana presented me with a wonderful drawing she had made of me which now has pride of place in my office.
In my next blog I will be telling you more about my shows in the town square when I mixed Rock and Roll with Puccini. So Keep Watching and thank-you for Following! 😉