Some Enchanted Evening

A wonderfully evocative concert on the evening of the century’s longest red moon was held in the front garden of the Villa Bonvisi by soprano Charlotte Potter, seen here in my photo of her by the villa’s gorgeous hydrangeas:


The concert was organised with the help of enterprising Priscilla Valentino (daughter of our GP) who has enlivened Bagni di Lucca with such events as the Christmas celebrations at the villa.

The event was suitably entitled ‘Eclissi Concert’:


Charlotte has just finished her first year at the renowned Chetham’s school of music in Manchester and has a beautifully developing soprano voice with a timbre which lends itself well to both classical opera, and modern musicals.

Charlotte charmed us with well-chosen items ranging from a song with words by Lord Byron, who spent his holidays in 1822 at the villa as guest of his friend Scottish banker John Webb, to Puccini who loved spending his summers at Bagni di Lucca.

Charlotte introduced her last item, ‘O mio babbino caro’, from Puccini’s ‘Gianni Schicchi’ by relating that she’d earlier visited Puccini’s birth-house in Lucca and was asked by the curator what she was going to be doing that day. ‘I’m singing in a concert at Bagni di Lucca tonight’, answered Charotte. Upon which the curator asked her ‘would you like to sing something next to Puccini’s own piano?’ Charlotte chose that meltingly pleading song sung by Lauretta after her father threatens to separate her from her love Rinuccio. Charlotte transmitted to us her great emotion at singing by Puccini’s piano.

Here is Charlotte’s rendition at the Villa Bonvisi:

In case you don’t understand the Italian words, here is a translation:

Oh my dear papa,
I love him, he is handsome, handsome.
I want to go to Porta Rossa
To buy the ring!
Yes, yes, I want to go there!
And if I loved him in vain,
I would go to the Ponte Vecchio,
but to throw myself in the Arno!I am anguished and tormented!
Oh God, I’d want to die!
Papa, have pity, have pity!
Papa, have pity, have pity!
Oh my beloved father,
I love him, I love him!
I’ll go to Porta Rossa,
To buy our wedding ring.
Oh yes, I really love him.
And if you still say no,
I’ll go to Ponte Vecchio,
And throw myself below.My love for which I suffer,
At last, I want to die.
Father I beg, I beg.
Father I beg, I beg.

By this time the red moon was clearly visible in the background and its appearance to the left of Charlotte was quite transcendent.

Later at our mountain home I was able to photograph that amazing, passionate moon more clearly.


In this photo you can see the planet Mars to the south-east of the blood-moon.


I do regret, however, that I didn’t record the item I thought Charlotte sang best of all: that haunting song from ‘Les Miserables’: ‘I dreamed a dream’

The biggest surprise of the evening for most of us, however, was to find out at the end that the beautiful voice we had heard belonged to a seventeen year old!


6 thoughts on “Some Enchanted Evening

  1. From Karen Pedley-Burns: Thank you Francis Pettitt for this fantastic review my husband DavidPedley-Burns who organised this with Priscilla Valentino and Charlotte Potter will be very pleased. Charlotte can also use this on her new website David will be designing for her.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Happy New Year! – From London to Longoio (and Lucca and Beyond) Part Three

  3. Pingback: Over the Moon – From London to Longoio (and Lucca and Beyond) Part Three

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