Paul and I Flying out to Milan!
Duty Free Shopping at the Airport!
April has been an extraordinary month with a constant flow of shows and even now I’m still not sure how I’ve been able to achieve the level of shows I have with so many fast turn arounds. If you have been following me on facebook I expect you have seen my photos from Italy and all my Easter Bonnet and Pearly Queen shots. This year St Georges day immediately followed Easter Monday which was a tough turn around as I had been performing two shows daily from the 15th April and then Paul and I flew straight out to Italy the following Wednesday which involved catching a taxi at 4.45 am.
Inside L’Incoronate, Lodi!
It’s always thrilling to be invited to perform somewhere new and although Paul and I have had the pleasure of performing in Italy before Lodi Vecchio was a new event for us which we were recommended for after the people who make things happen saw our our performances in Graffignana. Whenever we travel
The Filippini Library!
Being Interviewed by Italian TV!
Meeting up with our Italian Friends in Lodi Vecchio!
Paul and I Ready for the Parade!
to Italy we are always given wonderful hospitality and on this occasion we were met at Milan airport by our dear friend Giuseppe.
Opportunities like this don’t come along everyday so it’s important to make the most of them when they do. Giuseppe took us for lunch in the old town of Lodi which is built on medieval foundations and is famous for it’s churches and Renaissance and Baroque architecture. He had arranged for us to visit the church of L’Incoronata which interestingly was built on the site of a medieval brothel.
Lodi has six famous churches, San Filippo, Il Duomo, San Lorenzo, San Francesco and L’Incoronata. When Paul and I last visited Lodi we were allowed inside San Francesco which has a wonderful display of paintings and medieval frescoes. On this occasion we visited L’Incoronate. The first stone was laid in 1488 and the edifice is octagonal in shape. Symbols from the city decorate the building which was constructed under the watchful eye of the church bishops and Carlo Pallavicino who was a cultural promoter. The
Enjoying Lunch the Italian Way!
Getting Ready for the Parade!
church also confirms ties between architecture and the mathematical laws of musical harmony explaining it’s octagonal shape. Above the High Alter there is a Latin inscription recognizing the importance of Opera while the interior is richly coloured blue and gold with a magnificent display of paintings.
It was a wonderful opportunity to visit and as with anything artistic the Italians are head and shoulders above the rest of the world when it comes to paintings and architecture. In truth I wish I could have stayed longer although our host had another treat in store. Our next visit was to the Filippini Library which is located in The Biblioteca Laudense and makes up part of Lodi’s main public library and Civic Museum.
Originally the Filippini library belonged to the The Congregation of the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri. A collection of Catholic priests and lay-brothers who arrived in Lodi in 1622. They began the construction of the church of San Filippo in 1645. The structure, including the adjacent housing was rebuilt in 1740-1758, with the completion of the large hall in the library with the ceiling frescoed by Carlo Innocenzo Carloni with the Glory of St Philip Neri.
The Oratorians valued both devotion and knowledge and completed the large walnut cabinets for storing books. The structure was unfinished in 1791 when the French occupation led to a suppression of the order, and the creation of a public library. In its origins, the library had some 2000 volumes. However with the suppression of the orders, the collection grew and now houses 2000 books of the Filippini, 100 volumes and 40 manuscripts of the cloistered Augustinians, and 100 volumes from the Cappuccini di Casalpusterlengo.
Paul and I were privileged to have be given access and shown a couple of the precious books from the 17th and 18th century. All of which included early prints which had been hand coloured using water colours. These opportunities are very precious and although we were both still a little jetlagged I wouldn’t have missed this chance for all the world. Of course our reason for returning to Italy was not to sight see but to perform for Lodi Vecchio’s Heritage event which meant we were keen to get to bed so we would be bright and sparkly for the next days event.
Paul and I had been engaged to perform American swing tunes from the 1940s in American uniform and to head the towns parade. When we arrived the stage had been set and a marque erected so all the re-anacters could sit down and enjoy lunch ready to re-anact the liberation of Italy which they managed to do in about 20 minutes. The marque was a wonderful sight of different uniforms and characters from Italian partisans, Germans, English, Americans, Italians, Nurses and Firemen as they all had a part to play in Lodi Vecchio’s re-anactment and parade.
Sadly I didn’t get to see as much of the re-anactment as I had to take my place in the parade although the story was well recorded thanks to the official photographer Le Foto di Maria. You can catch her photos by clicking onto my facebook page. The plan had been for me to perform in the square at 4.30pm but sadly due to rain we had to re locate the show into the town hall. It was such a shame as the town had built me a special stage decked in Italian flags which looked splendid with the Municipal building behind. However re-locating into the town hall turned out to be the right decision as the rain got heaver as the afternoon wore on. Rather annoyingly Italy has been enjoying a run of fine days and this was the first rain they had had in months.
Getting the Thumbs Up Form The Mayor During Our Show!
The show went extremely well as I prepared a mix of Big Band and Swing, Hollywood musicals and opened the show with the Italian national anthem and closed with Nessun Dorma. Paul delighted the Italian audience with his Frank Sinatra songs and at the end we were given a standing ovation. We can’t wait to return in October when Paul and I will be performing for Graffignana’s 1940s Event on the 13th.
In the meantime I would like to thank the mayor of Lodi Vecchio for inviting us to perform for his event and to Giuseppe for his wonderful hospitality and for making us feel so welcome. In the meantime it’s full steam ahead with VE Day on the 8th May. I’m booked to perform for a private event at The Cross Keys in Pilloxhill and then it’s the season for ATS “We’ll Meet Again” shows as Paul and I get ready to sail out to
Meeting the Mayor of Lodi Vecchio!
Normandy on the 31st May in preparation for D-Day.
Thank-you for following my news. Toodle Pip and Bye for Now! 😉
Meeting Up With Our Friend Giuseppe!