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To be in the presence of greatness is always something to marvel at. But for those who love music, it’s an almost spiritual thing to hear performers that can transport an audience to another time and place entirely.
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Such was the case May 15 as soprano Angela Papale and her accompanist, Maestro Fabio Marra, celebrated the 100-year anniversary of soprano Renata Tebaldi’s birth by performing arias from the operas of Donizetti, Puccini, Mascagni, Verdi and Zandonai e Tosti at Green Mountain United Methodist Church.
The pristine acoustics of the church provided a serene setting for local opera lovers to lose themselves in Papale’s soaring, incredibly moving vocals. If one were to close their eyes, they might have imagined themselves in a European concert hall thousands of miles away.
Papale studied opera in Italy at her town Conservatory, advancing her training under renowned Italian singers Magda Olivero, Paolo Montarsolo and Fiorenza Cossotto. She has since performed at venues around the globe and won prizes at numerous international competitions.
The event, put on by the Denver and Pueblo chapters of the Dante Alighieri Society, was well attended by native and non-native Italian speakers who followed along intently as Marra, speaking primarily in Italian, set the stage with stories about selections the audience would hear.
Dante Alighieri’s, Gianfranco Marcantinio, greeted members and non-members alike with an easy charm that much like the performance itself, made you feel free from the hustle and bustle of traffic, road construction crews and heavy equipment on nearly every corner.
Vincent Lupo, who normally listens to Pavarotti and other acclaimed tenors, said he was very impressed with Papale’s voice.
“It’s really wonderful to bring this type of cultural event out here to the suburbs,” he said. “Usually, you’ll only find something like this in north Denver or downtown. It was really enjoyable.”
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