On Friday, July 19, 2013 Tatiana, my Mother, Grandmother, Father, and myself drove to Milwaukee, WI. home of "Festa Italiana" the biggest Italian festival in the Americas. After meeting Micheal Castaldo for a quick sound-check I had to hurriedly get changed.
Now as you know, I love Italian festivals, Great Food, Awesome Music & Wonderful Fans. But what I absolutely despise about such festivals is the fact that everyone at the festivals is always eating ! Why would that bother me you ask? As I do not eat anything the daylong ` before I sing, and when it is 6:00 P.M. and you haven't eaten anything all day and someone walks in front of you with an Italian Sausage and pepper sandwich, let's just say you start to get a little hungry. Let alone the cannolis !
Now my friends let me remind you, "Nessun Dorma" is normally sung by a male, and it is considered one of the hardest songs to sing, so I was quite pepped up on adrenaline for this performance.
Before I knew it, I had sung the 4th and final "Vincero" and the crowd was apparently on it's feet. I didn't know if they were though as I just wanted to get off that stage as fast as I could. I looked in the mirror when I was finished and realized I was a bigger mess than I had thought prior to my performance. After that An older gentleman came up to me and yelled, "Hey, you're the ballgown babe !" Again my day was made.
Naturally after that performance I was allowed to eat and naturally I maintained my title of "Queen of the Cannolis" by eating a 'Chocolate Cannoli'. Later that evening, my sister Tatiana Marie, performed "Fernando" by ABBA in Italian Idol about 10 minutes later and her rendition was stunning to say the least. Suddenly an elderly lady came up to my seat and said, "You ! You are coloratura soprano, yes?!" "You stunning!" That made my day. After which We had a snack and watched a Beautiful Fireworks Display, then drove the three hours back home.
Saturday July 20th ~ The performance with Michael passed smoothly, the weather was beautiful 77 degrees and light breeze ~ Giuffre Bros. Cranes Stage .. The Festa director said the crowd at the and they were uneventful, but Sunday's performances were another story. Again, there was a three hour drive there and back on all three days.
I was given a dressing room this time and upon looking out the window I realized it was pouring. Now Micheal had completely packed seats on both days prior to this, but this was honestly ridiculous. The stage management was considering cancelling the show, but Micheal insisted, "I have been paid and brought here to perform, so I will perform. The show must go on !". Due to the walls separating the dressing rooms being paper thin I heard his every word, and so my Mom hurriedly did my hair and I warmed up quicker than I had ever warmed up in my life to give a performance I will never forget. Micheal went onstage and did his regular sound check and there were a total of three people in the audience. By the end of our performance in the pouring rain there were around 20 brave souls.
My frock was drenched and soiled from that experience, but it was pretty exciting to say the least. But although it was exciting I don't want to do it again in the near future ! My Mom threw a rain poncho over me and over to the "Meet & Greet" area we went. After saying our goodbye's to Micheal and his wife we went to the "Italian Idol" area to get ready for my next performance. It then started to get very cold and I could feel my throat starting to 'complain', but before I knew it I was up onstage and finishing the song. I got standing ovations all three nights and I even had a couple Facebook friends there to cheer me on, including people who had seen me on YouTube as well.
Now what have I learned from these experiences, well let's just say many things, but the main lesson I learned was how to correctly pick what Italian food you want to eat. Stand in the middle of the courtyard, close your eyes, spin around a few times and follow to where your nose leads you. (Hey, no one ever said I was a 'serious' soprano).