Playing Favorites 8/26/2022

The_Opera_Band_album_coverI’ve missed posting Playing Favorites for a few Fridays in a row now. Given how rarely I post these days, it is hard to believe that I posted every day for two years, 2011 and 2012.  Oh, to be sort-of-young again.  But here I am, ready to post another Favorite. I decided I’d post something a little more eclectic than the rock and pop I usually post. According to Wikipedia, Amici Forever is a quintet of classically trained musicians, comprised of sopranos Jo Appleby and Tsakane Valentine, tenors David Habbin and Geoff Swell, and basso Nick Garrett.  Nick Patrick, who had produced albums by the Gipsy Kings, Tina Turner and Marvin Gaye produced the band’s first album The Opera Band. The album mixes opera classics such as “Nessun Dorma” with pop standards such as “Unchained Melody” and “Requiem for a Soldier”. It charted at number one in New Zealand and number two in Australia in 2004 but hardly made a ripple in the US. It did, however, it did make its way to Borders (a place I still miss) where I listened to it on one of their listening stations. I bought it immediately. 

The track I listen to most is Canta Alla Vita (Song of Life), an homage to living life to its fullest in spite of its trials, sung mostly in Italian.  It was first recorded by Josh Grogan on his first album, Josh Grogan.  It features a full orchestra, soaring choruses and a flamenco style guitar.  In spite of its upbeat tempo and beautiful harmonies, the lyrics reveal it is about living in spite of lives hardships. The sole verse in English is:

I sing to life and to its tragic beauty
To pain and to strife, but all that dances through me
The rise and the fall; I’ve lived through it all

I guess it appeals to the darker side of me that sees the beauty in life but can’t take his eyes of the pain and tragedy that surround us every day.   Anyway, here it is.  I hope you enjoy it.

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