Who has known me for quite a lot time, is aware of the fact that I love everything that concerns Italy and Greece – their cities and tourist sites, culture, music, ballets, movies, theatre, cuisine, etc.. I (almost) never miss the opportunity “to be close to them” and try to attend almost every cultural event – a concert, in particular, here in Sofia.
I have to admit that I attended a concert for the first time in my life at the beginning of December 2011 and it was the concert of Al Bano Carrisi (better known as Albano) in Sofia. I have always loved his songs (also those with Romina when they were a duet and even the Greek versions like Με μια ματια, ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΙΑ, etc.) since my childhood and that’s why it was more than fantastic to listen to his Libertà, Sharazan, Ci sarà and many others at his live concert. I will never forget how he started his performance. At the very beginning of the concert he commenced a conversation with the audience. I still remember his first words: “Today I have been wandering along the streets in Sofia and I have seen colours….colours that are too familiar to me …the colours which I have known since my birth. And do you know which colours I mean, those of your national flag that are the same as the ones of the Italian one”. And he started his marvelous performance and all his songs were accompanied by our singing together with him.
After that, only some months later (in February 2012) I had the opportunity to listen to Umberto Tozzi’s evergreens (like Gloria, Ti amo and Si può dare di più, the latter one being a song originally sung by the Morandi-Ruggeri-Tozzi trio) at a concert. After the concert I shared my thoughts with an Italian friend of mine from Tuscany and I asked him whether he could mention the singer’s name who sings the English version of Gloria. I expected he wouldn’t know it (by the way, do you know the answer?! 😉 ) because the original is always the best and all other interpretations, imitations and cover versions aren’t that good (by the way, I do like also Laura Branigam’s Glory).
Well, after these two fabulous concerts of these two giants of the Italian pop music, the Bulgarian audience wanted even more. Voilà! It happened. The three Italian pop tenors (Albano, Toto and Tozzi) staged a concert together in May 2013. They simply got the audience exalted with their songs among which were also L’italiano vero, Insieme, Serenata and many others. But the greatest part of the whole concert was its end, when three of them sang the typical Bulgarian song “My Country, My Motherland, My Bulgaria” in a perfect Bulgarian language. You can listen to it here (the quality of the video is very poor because it was shot by one of the spectators at the concert with a mobile device).
It wasn’t the last concert for 2013. Just on the opposite. The month of December started and ended in the most amazing way ever. At the beginning of the last month of the year the GRAND Ennio Morricone had a Christmas concert in one of Sofia’s venue halls that was full of admirers of his film music. His great Once Upon A Time In The West, another theme from Once Upon a Time in America, Le vent, le cri, made us call for an encore from him three times. It was simply amazing to be at such an event of that world class composer.
And at the end of December Ricchi e Poveri prepared us for the forthcoming seasonal holidays in the best way. Their unforgettable hits such as Che sara, Sarà perché ti amo, Mamma Maria, etc., and the two songs from their new album were accepted perfectly by all attendees of their concert. I have to admit that they had a very nice stage presence. They talked to the audience, made us sing with them. They even gathered children-volunteers to come to the stage and dance with them. At the moment when more than 15 kids stepped on the stage Angelo found a similarity between our two nations and said: “Voi siete come gli italiani. Fate bambini.“ (You are like the Italians. You make babies.). 🙂
Because We Can: the Tour is the 2013 concert tour of the wonderful American band Bon Jovi. We had the chance to see their live concert in the middle of May. We were among all those hundreds of fans from every generation that gathered at the National Stadium in Sofia. The decor was great – a front of a vintage car named after our capital by John himself at the beginning of the concert. The two-hour show was fabulous. Hits like It’s my Life, We Weren’t Born to Follow, etc. were sung by the band together with all of us. But unfortunately, Bon Jovi had to stop the concert earlier due to visibly exacerbated allergy caused by the air of Sofia. Despite this, the whole show was more than fantastic. The official trailer of the tour is on YouTube.
Emir Kusturica is better known as a filmmaker. Apart from this he joined the Non Smoking Orchestra officially at the beginning of this century. As for the band, it was created in 1980s as part of a movement against the political situation in Yugoslavia. Up to now the band together with Kusturica released Unza Unza and have staged concerts, one of them being in February 2014 in Sofia. The music was the typical Balkan rhythm – dynamic and full of emotions. So was the musicians’ performance on the stage who were obviously having fun all the time. If one wants to have non-stop fun, sing and get exalted, this is the right place and time – the concert of Emir Kusturica & the Non Smoking Orchestra.
Yamato and the unique Taiko sound ….. They are a troupe of Taiko drummers who represent the Japanese spirit through performances all over the world. Their unique national instrument fills in people with inspiration and every rhythmic Taiko drummer beat is sonorous and like a vivid picture of Japan. So, if you wanna feel and experience all this just don’t miss their performance in your country since Yamato is likely to show the Japanese traditions in your homeland as they are on a world tour from 6 to 10 months a year. And here is their official website.
The soul of Portugal …. These are the songs about the sea and songs of the sailors’ played with Portuguese and acoustic guitars. These are those crystal clear and passionate voices that express the longing for the shores of Portugal …. Or all this could be summarized collectively as Fado. And, yes, this is Maria do Carmo Carvalho Rebelo de Andrade is one of the most talented Fado singers from the new generation. She’s an innovative performer of Fado whose voice is gentle and touching, eclectic and magical. Her songs are not only traditional Fado music but they are a mix of various genres combined in one ….. and here is what I mean …. Just Carmihno and her Alma.