More appetite whetting for La Dolce Vita

Celebrating the Sweet Things in Life with Italian Song

Laura and I are Italy-enthusiasts. We can’t help it.

We spend a part of each summer on the staff of Umbrian Serenades ( in Spoleto, basking in the ancient splendor of Umbria and offering in return, concerts of solo, small ensemble and choral repertoire. It’s a sweet life!

So we’ll bring you a bit of it with a few more songs featured on the concerts this weekend.

In this first, Rossini describes the Gondola races in Venice, as “Anzoleta” the girlfriend coaches her boyfriend, “Momolo” how to win the race. (Quit gawping and go grab the flag!)
Here is is Cecilia Bartoli in Venetian dialect singing from “La regata veneziana” of Rossini.

And while we are in Venice, we’ll step back a few centuries to the musical scene of 1643. Opera is but a few decades old. Monteverdi premieres his Coronation of Poppea for that season’s Carnival and Voila! Italian Opera as we know it is born… replete with gorgeous vocalism and all its other unmistakable virtues: love, lust, violence, adultery, murder and deceit.

Here is the final duet between Nero and Poppea, famed for its seductive beauty.
Pur ti miro

And now for a bit of gelato: a catchy little Neapolitan folk song offered here by Fritz Wunderlich.