I Viaggiatori – Review

I Viaggiatori and Dante Musica Viva Choir @ The Merry Muse. Saturday 5 June, 2010
By ComedyGoatee

Arriving at the Merry Muse a little late, the Bistro cum auditorium of the Turner Bowling Club was already at capacity. Organisers seemed pleasantly surprised by the turnout and with a little moving of tables and adding chairs squeezed everyone in the room.

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The Dante Musica Choir, backed by three members of the Canberra Mandolin Orchestra, was in full voice as I arrived –clearly enjoying the performance as much as the audience was. Well executed songs were interspersed with potted translations and invitations to dance or join the choir.

By the time I Viaggiatori took to the stage, the bistro had closed its shutters and fed punters settled back to experience the Italian folk quartet fronted by Melbourne based Aria winner Kavisha Mazella.

Many of the songs were brought together as the soundtrack for a recently rediscovered silent film of the voyage of a ship of migrants from Italy to Australia.

I Viaggiatori’s songs of the Italian migrant evoked politics, class-battle, love and loss. This could be the European ancestor of country and western music—never more so than with the Italian version of ‘my girl done left me, and all I got left is my guitar’.

A packed house on a winter’s night in Canberra for original songs in Italian.

People danced. People clapped.

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