• A showcase of Italy’s most-renowned opera composers

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    Four Hands at the Opera is arguably the universal celebration of Italian culture. And this scintillating expression of Italian culture will be showcased in full joyous force at the Cultural Center of the Philippines when a program entirely devoted to the four most famous Italian opera composers of the nineteenth century—Rossini, Verdi, Donizetti and Puccini—will be staged on July 13 at 7.30 p.m.

    The program will feature four fantasies taken from the most popular and famous works of this famous quartet of composers which spectacularly showcase sparkling music and high melodrama, to be performed by conductor, pianist, composer Luciano Bellini with concert pianist and recording artist Antonella Vitelli.

    Bellini’s works have been executed in nearly all western countries, in Middle and Far East and in South America, and have also been recorded by several national broadcasting stations and networks. He is the permanent conductor of Nova Philarmonia, as well as guest conductor or soloist for many European, Asian and Latin-American Orchestras. He and Vitelli co-founded the Italian Pianistic Duo.

    As an added bonus, the year being the bicentenary of Giuseppe Verdi’s birth, the program has been further enriched with the overture taken from “Forza del Destino” and with his only two piano solos found so far.

    They are “Romance sans paroles,” which is rarely performed and is a short and inspired page of an intimate nature and in an unequivocally Verdi style; and “Waltz in F Maj,” used and orchestrated a century later by Nino Rota for the famous scene of the Grand Ball in the movie The Leopard directed by Luchino Visconti.

    The aim of this chamber music concert at the CCP’s Little Theatre is to celebrate the bicentenary of the birth of the great Master from Busseto and at the same time add the prestigious figure of Luchino Visconti in a performance dedicated to the excellence of Italian art and culture.

    Luciano Bellini has realized all the musical arrangements and four-hands piano transcriptions, dedicating them to “Duo Pianistico Italiano” and to anyone who wishes to explore the kaleidoscopic world of the nineteenth century Italian Opera.

    Tickets are available at CCP Box Office (832-3706); Ticketworld (891-9999), Secretariat c/o Lulu Casas (895-2109/2404) and the PIA office c/o Marisa Ronquillo (815-1310).

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