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2016: Celebrating Enrico Caruso

Pasquale Esposito’s “Voice of a Legend” Tour Comes to SCU

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Santa Clara’s 4th annual Vari Symposium, celebrating the life and culture of Italy, delighted the crowd of nearly 500 guests who came to hear Pasquale Esposito as he honored the career of legendary tenor Enrico Caruso.

Esposito’s live performance was enhanced with video footage from his PBS special, Pasquale Esposito Celebrates Enrico Caruso. The special is a docu-concert that pays homage to Caruso by taking the audience on a musical journey highlighting the songs, places, and cities that made him an international star.

Throughout the concert, Esposito traced Caruso’s footsteps with Italian opera arias like “Nessun dorma”, Neapolitan songs such as “O sole mio,” Italian and American favorites including “New York, New York,” and original compositions accompanied by captivating footage of the Amalfi Coast and Naples, Italy.

Like Caruso, the young tenor was born in Naples, but Esposito later immigrated to the U.S. and pursued his academic interests in music by focusing on vocal performance and completing his B.A. in 2009 at San Jose State University’s School of Music. Since then, he has released seven CDs, collaborated with numerous artists, and toured abroad and throughout the U.S., including a successful debut at the San Francisco Opera in their world premiere of Two Women last summer.

Esposito was joined onstage by his friend and PBS co-star Dino Natali, who is known for his television appearances with Lucille Ball, Danny Kaye, Dean Martin, and Carol Burnett, and for his participation in a number of hit series: Kojak, Cagney and Lacey, Get Smart, and Barney Miller.

San Francisco Opera’s soprano Julie Adams joined Esposito for duets on “The Prayer” and “Libiamo ne’ lieti calici,” and for a solo performance of “Mi chiamano Mimì” from La Bohème.

The evening concluded with shouts of “bravo” and a standing ovation for Esposito, followed by a Q&A session with Santa Clara Associate Professor of Music Nancy Wait-Kromm.

The event was made possible by the Dr. Victor and Julia Botto Vari Italian Studies Initiative Established by the Varis to celebrate the influence and contributions of Italians in our world; all proceeds from the event will support community-based internships in the arts and humanities.

Friday, April 1, 2016 ~ 7:30 p.m. ~ Louis B. Mayer Theatre

Join us as we trace Caruso’s footsteps through Italian opera arias, Neapolitan songs, Italian and American standards, and original compositions accompanied by captivating footage of the Amalfi Coast and Naples, Italy.

About the Performers

Pasquale Esposito Tenor

Pasquale Esposito was born and raised in Naples, Italy, where he discovered that music is the tie that binds us all—young and old, rich and poor, and of every language and nation. He immigrated to the United States in 1998 and pursued his academic interests in music by focusing on vocal performance and completing his B.A. in 2009 at San Jose State University’s School of Music. Since then, he has released seven CDs, collaborated with numerous artists, and toured abroad and throughout the U.S., including a successful debut at the San Francisco Opera in their world premiere of Two Women last summer. In June 2016, Esposito will begin production of his second PBS special, Pasquale Esposito Celebrates Italian Piazzas, which films in the prestigious Piazza Plebliscito in Naples, Italy. The special is scheduled to air in the spring of 2017.

His performance is an excerpt from his first PBS special, Pasquale Esposito Celebrates Enrico Caruso. The special is a docu-concert that pays homage to the legendary Caruso by taking the audience on a musical journey highlighting the songs, places, and cities that made him an international star. It was filmed at the historic Castello Giusso in Vico Equense on the Amalfi Coast and includes an interview with Maestro Plácido Domingo. He is touring throughout North America on his The Voice of a Legend ~ Celebrating Enrico Caruso tour based on the PBS Special.

Dino Natali Actor

Dino Natali was born in the North Beach Italian neighborhood of San Francisco, CA. He has enjoyed a longstanding career in television and live performances. Natali started his career in Las Vegas, NV, performing with The Vagabonds in the early 50s and working with many of the finest legends: Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin and Ann Margaret. In the 60s, he began to include television appearances with Lucille Ball, Danny Kaye, Dean Martin, and Carol Burnett. He was featured on a number of hit series: Kojak, Joe Bash, Cagney and Lacey, Get Smart, and Barney Miller. Natali also starred in television commercials for Budweiser, Toyota, Chrysler, McDonald’s, and as the six-year national spokesman for Oroweat Bread. Natali was featured in the 2015 PBS Special: Pasquale Esposito Celebrates Enrico Caruso. He continues to tour throughout the US with Pasquale Esposito in The Voice of a Legend ~ Celebrating Enrico Caruso.

Julie Adams Soprano

A winner of the 2014 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, 2015 George London Award, and recipient of a 2015 Sara Tucker Study Grant, soprano Julie Adams is a second-year San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow and alumna of the 2014 Merola Opera Program, where she performed the role of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire. During her studies with César Ulloa at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees, she performed the roles of Blanche in Les Dialogues des Carmélites, Mimi in La Bohème, Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi. Other credits include Lia (Debussy’s L’Enfant Prodigue) at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv; Pamina (Die Zauberflöte) at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara; and Magnolia Hawks (Show Boat) and Rose (Street Scene) with the Oakland East Bay Symphony. Adams is a former studio artist with Opera Santa Barbara.

 

With special support from the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco Conversation.