Mezzotono live in JB - again!

The foyer on Level 11 of the DoubleTree by Hilton Johor Baru is choc-a-bloc with people, waiting for the doors of the ballroom to open for the much anticipated evening of fun with a-cappella singing group, Mezzotono.

The five famous voices that make up Mezzotono,
live on stage in Johor Baru for the Mad in Italy show
The crowd itself speaks for the popularity of Mezzotono because this is their third appearance in Johor Baru and fans as well as first-timers are here, eager to enjoy their brand of music and entertainment.

Their first performance in Johor Baru was at the 2015 JB Jazz Festival and by popular demand, the group returned to our city as part of the 12th JB Arts Festival, that same year.

Sold-out performances attest to their vocal versatility because Mezzotono is made up of five singers who describe themselves as ‘a small Italian orchestra without instruments,’ as their performance is executed entirely with their own voices.

Presented by the Johor Society of Performing Arts (JSPA) and headlined, Mad in Italy – A Fun Evening of A-Cappella Music with Mezzotono, the audience is looking forward to being entertained by a repertoire of songs presented a-cappella in the Mezzotono style of inventive vocal arrangements.

Gigi reading out his introduction in near flawless Malay!
I guess the fans are eager to get into the ballroom and find their favourite seats because the show has a free-seating arrangement, usually with the first few rows reserved for special guests.

I know the front row seats are reserved and labelled accordingly as Johor princess, Her Highness Tunku Tun Aminah and her husband, Dennis Muhammad Abdullah, will grace the event along with several dignitaries.

When the door opens, I find my way in the muted lights of the ballroom, to the seat with my name on it – somewhere behind their seats.

The evening’s show with a 20-minute intermission, kicks off with a valiant attempt at singing a-cappella in a sing-along-session with the audience led by Master of Ceremony, Faizal, before the five famous voices are welcomed on stage.

The show invited more audience participation
Tenor Fabio Lepore, soprano Daniela Desideri, mezzosoprano Francesca Leone, baritone Luigi Nardiello and bass Alessandro Gnolfo, are no longer strangers to Johor Baru.

I like how Luigi, fondly called Gigi, playfully takes over from Fabio at the start of the show, to say a few words of introduction in Bahasa Melayu!

He removes a piece of paper from his pocket, unfolds it elaborately and reads the words in Malay, with I must say, fairly accurate pronunciation (for a visiting Italian!) and clearly impressed the audience.

Having experienced their music in the previous shows in JB, I sit back to enjoy the evening. I observe how the artistes have mellowed and are performing with a more interactive approach and audience participation.

And it didn’t take long for their brilliant and extraordinary vocal magic to work their charm on the appreciative audience.

From their first song, the group connected with the audience through the familiar tune of, “Mambo Italiano” and kept them bopping to the rhythm right up to their final song, “Bouna sera Signorina.”

Even though the lyrics are in Italian, it’s interesting how music transcends language.

Along with thunderous claps, I also hear shouts of, “Bravo!” from the ladies seated behind me.

Alessandro [Seated] earned loud applause
for his impressive bass beat-box skills
As true ambassadors of Italian music, the group has performed extensively in hundreds of concerts around the world and have had prominent Italian television appearances including on Italy’s Got Talent.

In 2008, they released their self-titled album, ‘Mezzotono’ and their latest album, ‘Mad in Italy’ was released in 2015.

After their “Mana-Mana” encore song where each artiste performed a solo to showcase their vocal skills, the show finally came to a close.

Fabio explains that regretfully, they cannot linger any longer because they have to leave for the airport in Singapore and head to Japan where their next show is scheduled.

It's we-fie-with-the-audience time at the end of the show
Mezzotono certainly works hard because they only arrived in JB at 2pm that afternoon and proceeded with the stage sound-check before the show that very evening.

All in, they only spent a few hours here. But it was a time of sheer entertainment for the audience.

Before leaving the stage, Mezzotono captured a few we-fie photo mementoes with the audience to add to their tour photo album.

As mesmerized fans reluctantly leave the ballroom, I guess JSPA should feel that all the work their team have put into organizing this show, was well worth the effort.

No comments:

Post a Comment