Last night hubby and I went to see Pasquale Esposito's "in Canto" holiday concert. It was my sixth concert and my favorite so far. Accompanied by the Mission Chamber Orchestra and conducted by Emily Ray, the show was festive, fun and full of surprises! He performed classic Neapolitan songs, opera arias and holiday songs sung in both Italian and English.
Pasquale Esposito in concert last night in San Mateo, CA.
What made the concert extra special for me is that for the past 3 years hubby didn't think he would like Pasquale's music. But, because I went to see the Dave Matthews Band and Hall and Oates with him this year (even though I didn't know a single DMB song and Hall and Oates were never really my thing), he agreed to try something new and went to see Pasquale with me. When the concert ended I asked him "So, what did you think?" He replied that he really enjoyed it and asked if he had any more shows coming up in the Bay Area. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat? You could have knocked me over with a feather. A fan is born. I just saw on his Facebook status he said the concert was "superb!"
Pasquale performed one of my favorites, a soaring and soulful original ballad sung in both Italian and English called "Aria e Cielo." His voice is sooooooooo amazing. I wish he had sung it twice :D He also did a gorgeous rendition of "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen. Other highlights were "Granada" and "Ava Maria." And he had the crowd bouncing in their seats to Italian classics O' Sole Mio and Questa e Quella.
If you've never heard him sing before click on the image or link above. It's a wonderful performance.
I've been a huge fan for the past 9 years ever since seeing him perform at a holiday event at the Kohl Mansion and have seen him perform live dozens of times over. He even performed at our wedding! The mood was light as Pasquale recounted for us what it's like when he goes home to Italy for Christmas. In brief, he eats a LOT of food and desserts, gains 5 kilos (11 pounds), and has a wonderful time with his family.
The big surprise came at the beginning of the show when a stage light blew out overheard above the back row of the symphony. It was just one of those things. A really loud *pop* (or you could call it a small *bang*) followed by a fair amount of smoke and a streaming ball of fire, that looked like a mini comet, came down into the orchestra. It was rather surreal. The musicians stopped just long enough to stomp out the embers and went right back to playing their instruments and Pasquale never missed a beat.
Photo by: Todd Rafalovich
Here we are at my wedding. After being a super-fan for so many years how could he not be at my wedding? Hubby and I engaged his services for our cocktail hour. Our guests? Loved him! You can engage Pasquale to perform at your wedding, private party, or special event.
As we walked out through the parking lot last night it became apparent that during our wedding cocktail hour hubby was never able to fully focus on Pasquale's performance. I told him we should hire Pasquale to come sing just to us for an hour... Like one of the romantic dinners you see in movies where it's just the two of us having a candle lit dinner and Pasquale... (except I would want delicious fancy, vegetarian food, and hubby would want a hamburger with fries or a chicken burrito). It could happen. I know all of the right people and places :D
CONTEST to WIN 2 PASQUALE CD's
Enter to win Dec 20-26, 2010
My two favorite CD's are his first "My Passion" and his last "A Brand New Me." The last time I saw Pasquale in concert I purchased 2 autographed copies of "A Brand New Me" (which contains "Aria e Cielo"). One was for me and the other to give away here on the blog. But then I never did give it away. I also have a brand new copy of "My Passion" and I think now is the time to give them both away to one lucky winner.... If you want to win both CD's, leave a comment (with a contact link in case you win) at the end of this post or send me a private message (with a way to contact you back in case you win) I'll hold a random drawing from all of the entries received by midnight, Sunday Dec. 26th and announce the winner on Monday the 27th.
If Pasquale isn't coming to where you live you can always invite him into your life by ordering one or all of his CD's at CD Baby.com
My Passion is his first and contains my favorite classic Italian song he performs, the heart rending:"Il mare calmo della sera." I swear I swoon every time I play it and ten times over when he performs it live.
Keep up on his latest news by visiting www.ItalianMusicMan.com. The site includes tour dates, photos, links to purchase his music and more. Or you can Friend him on Facebook.
Congratualtions Pasquale and his manager Samira for another successful year. I wish you both the happiest of holidays full of good food, fun, family and friendship.