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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Great to be Italian!!

Dear readers and wonderful friends,
How are you?

Time really flies when we are having fun!! It was September when I did the Sergio Franchi Memorial Concert and here we are in November already!!
I was so busy performing, did not had much time to sleep and most of all I never stop to be thankful for all that has happened and still is coming my way!!

The Sergio Franchi Memorial Concert was as always magical: a bright sunny day and so many wonderful people all around! Wonderful Eva Franchi surpassed herself this year with even a better program and selection of songs and performers; no need to say that I felt once again so honored to be part of it!!

With one of the Sergio's car

In September I also had some wonderful intense days filming a new Italian reality/docu TV program that will 
debut in Italy in January at Italia Uno entitled “Sognando Italia”.
It was just wonderful to show to the presenter, the beautiful and adorable Morgan Witkin my wonderful life here in NYC!!
We filmed from 8Am in the morning till midnight…intense but great days!!

With Cav. J. Maietta and T, DiNapoli
Singing at the raising of the Flags

                                                  Before I knew summer was over and October was here. October in the USA is the month of the Italian Heritage and Culture. A month that always see me running from one event to another celebrating the beauty of my own culture and home land with the Italian Americans. Such a privilege to Kick Off on October 5th.the Celebration of Italian Heritage Month at the St. John's University in Manhattan singing also this year for the NYC State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli . 

Such an honor to sing on October 7th the anthems at the raising of the flags in front of the  beautiful Statue of Mother Italy at the Hunter College in NYC.

With Supreme Court Justice S. Alito

And my October went on with almost every day one event to go if not two, like when I had the honor to sing a few songs at the Rutgers University in NJ at their NIAF Legal Council Conference with Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Jr. as key note speaker at 9AM in the morning. Well that day ended very late as I was also schedule to be special guests at the Wine Teasting of the UNICO Chapter of in Southington, CT. I’ve learned to sleep in  limos and in plains on my way to the events and even if must sound stressing for the majority of the people for me is quiet normal and fine. And I enjoy so much to be in company of the so many Italian American people that so much love and cherish with pride their Italian Heritage. I think I’m privilege and honored to be part of their events!!

CCF Gala singing the Anthem

On October 8 I was once again honored to perform the Italian National Anthem at the Gala of the Columbus Citizens Foundation at the marvelous Waldorf Astoria. I’m in NYC for 7 years now and to participate to such an incredible event is also always a chance to meet and spend some times with some of my NYC friends, and always such a great chance to get to know new and so inspiring people, like this year Grand Marshal of the Parade Joe Plumeri. His speech during the Gala was for sure one of the most inspiring I had heard in a while: I came to America to follow my dreams and Joe, a very successful and powerful man, talked to a silent room the life story of his grandfather who came to the USA with nothing and just a dream of a better life ending up achieving wealth and success!!

With Pia Toscano
 FDNY Chief Salvatore Cassano
With Joe Plumeri

NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly
With Maria Bartiromo
Presidend of CFF Frank Fusaro and his wife

Then of course on Monday October 10 I sang once again on the Red Carpet of the Columbus Day Parade that was broadcast live this year in the USA by WABC and a few days later by PBS.  If you have missed it id the link to see it again.


Singing for ABC7

With Jill, Kathie Maria and Rita

With Kathie and Jill
It is always such a beautiful day. It starts very early since I have to be in the beautiful building of the Columbus Citizen Foundation at 9 AM. Then I have breakfast and I start my make up and hear. I was wearing this year a beautiful gown of Daniel’s Boutique of Monique Luhllier and I had a wonderful make up done by Jill Hart  ( and hear by Kathie Gallina (business phone 516-359-0908). Around 11AM there is always the sound check on the Red Carpet and then it’s only a question to wait for the time that the performance is scheduled!! And in all this waiting there is food and wonderful people all around. This year my friend Maria Gallina Traina and Rita Monte were also with me. Also this a wonderful occasion to meet old and new friends.

Receiving my Citation of Merit from the Queens Burough President
On October  18th, I was also honored to receive a Citation of Honor from the Honorable Helen Marshall Queens Borough President in cooperation with the Italian Heritage & Culture Committee of NY and Queens County  at the St. John’s University. It was a very special day and to be recognized for doing what I love so much feel always like a blessing! So much to be grateful.

Singing the Italian Anthem (Photo R. Chioni)
Singing at the NIAF
My October months ended last weekend with the NIAF Gala in Washington DC where I was honored to sing the Italian National Anthem for the 2.500 people in the audience and the impressive lined up of celebrities and dignitaries on stage, like former speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, United States Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, and legendary singers Dion and Frankie Avalon, but also actors like Robert Davi and my friend, wonderful actor Tony LoBianco. 

What a moment!!
View from the giant screen
View from the giant screen

The stage

President Barak Obama (Photo R. Chioni)
Listening to the President
Nanci Pelosi introducing the President
And of course the presence as key note speaker of the President of The United States Barak Obama made the evening even more memorable. Because of his arrival the security was very high. They changed the sound check of the microphones from 4PM to 8AM. Luckily they rescheduled it at the last moment to 1PM. There were security guards armed and very carefully looking everywhere. Just before my performance of the National Anthem I wanted to check my makeup and decided to go back stage, where normally is nobody…I open the door and there where more than 50 security men looking at me so surprised to see me but also alarmed. Gently but firmly they asked me to leave that space. They were all there waiting for the President to arrive of course . So no chance to check my make up there!! In the room of the Gala there where more than 2500 people dining and also there everywhere there were security guards and sharp shooters. Finally it was my time to go on stage and sing the Italian National Anthem….no need to say that I was so proud and I could not believe my eyes…what an impressive view the room was huge and everybody was standing…and behind me all those celebrities and dignitaries….and back stage the President of the United States……a very special night!
Before I knew the Anthem was over…the applause followed and my heart was still singing with pride!! How lucky I was!!

The President walks on stage and kiss Nancy Pelosi

With Sal Davino
With Dr. Mignone, Cav J. Maietta, Claudio Bozzo and Jerry Colangelo
With JJ at the after Party
And then it was time for Nancy Pelosi to announce the arrival of the President: everybody was standing the lights where all on so to permit to the security and sharp shooters to see everyone in the room…..the applause was strong and energetic….there is was the President of the United States. His smile was captivating as he started with a few nice jokes, about not be able to cook like an Italian Grand mother and saying that all he had to offer was a family names ending with a vowel. The crowed was laughing with him…and then slowly he got serous and talked about serious issues…..the room was silent and pondering every words he was speaking…..I knew he was reading from the teleprompter that the White House staff had installed during my sound check…but still he was so charismatic and so powerful in reading them without loose contact with the audience! He has for sure a great charisma and a super talent when it comes to speak and captivate the audience!! At the end of his speech followed a huge applause! The energy was very high in the room!!  It was surreal to be in the same room with him and so close to him!! What an experience!
I’m new in this country and only since a month and half I Am a Permanent Resident of the USA, but I must say I’m having the chance to live some incredible experiences!!

With Robert Davi

With Mary Ellen
With Frank Mancuso
With Mary
With Dr, Mignone, Cav. Giuliana Ridolfi and Claudio Bozzo
After the President's speech they served dinner and they start to give the Awards to all the honorees of the night, among them also my friend Claudio Bozzo President of the Mediterranean Shipping Company (USA) Inc., the President of Confindustria Emma Marcegaglia, Hon. Capri Cafaro, minority leader of the Ohio Senate; Dion DiMucci, rock and roll hall of fame; Hon. Frank J. Guarini, former U.S. congressman and NIAF chairman emeritus; and Frank G. Mancuso Sr., former chairman and CEO of the Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio, a man I have had the chance to meet a few time.
With Cristina Fontanelli
And I was also lucky to get to chat with some great colleague of mine, like Soprano Cristina Fontanelli who was sitting at my table and Simona Rodano who I saw at the after party. Actually I took Cristina to the TV troupe of Sognando Italia that was filming the event for their program and they where so happy to interview her as well!!
Con il regista di Sognando Italia Giorgio J. Squarcia

Around midnight the party was over and it time for the after party. I was happy to have there with me also Mary and Mary Ellen two wonderful friends of mine that where also at the NIAF Gala, one from Pittsburgh and one from Philadelphia. It was fun to hang with them and enjoy the party: we had some great girlfriends time and girlie talk, if you know what I mean!! BTW thank you to them too for some of the pictures of this BLOG!! And also to JJ!!

Around 2Am I was so tired and decided to say good night even if there where still some party gurus going strong!!
What a night!1 I guess I fell asleep in a second……it was quiet an overwhelming weekend!!

Stay tuned for my next week BLOG about the preparation for my photo shooting for the new CD and the promotional material for Carnegie Hall on October 20, 2012 and more news!!

Love always,



  1. Today it's here a warm sunny, cloud free day.
    Would have been nice to have the day off, but I'm not :-(

    Very nice to read your blog, as always.
    Curious to your next one!

  2. Great Blog!!!
    BIG BIG THINGS on the way!!!!
    WOW!!!! Glad for you, Meraviglia!!!

    Can't wait for the new post about Promo pictures and news!!!!

    of course.... I'll stay tuned!!!! LOL

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