A Moon Live Review: Fiorella Mannoia Live in London

Fiorella Mannoia is an Italian singer. She first came to Your Cultural Correspondent's (Film and Theatre) attention during a visit they made to Turin in September 2010. Perusing a record store, there on the video screen was a DVD playing. It was from the 'Il tempo e l'armonia' live collection which Miss Mannoia had lately released.  The collection was purchased, voice unheard, on the strength of the video. Actually, it was bought on the strength of Fiorella's glorious, ginger hair.

Happily, when the live album was listened to, and the DVD watched, Your Cultural Correspondent (Film and Theatre) found that they had found another female singer to admire and esteem.

During Your Cultural Correspondent's (Film and Theatre) year living in Rome, they even managed to see her live in concert as she promoted her 'Sud' album. You can read the concert review here

Last year, to mark her 60th birthday, Fiorella re-recorded many of her hits on an album called 'Fiorella' and toured throughout Italy giving concerts here, there and everywhere to promote it. She has spent the first half of this year doing the same.  Your Cultural Correspondent (Film and Theatre) was lucky enough to see one of the concerts in Rome in April. You can read the review here

Not content with singing her heart out all over that dear peninsula, Fiorella has this past month undertaken a European tour.  She has played Brussels, Paris and, last night, she made her London debut at the Shepherd's Bush Empire.

And what a debut! 

She opened with 'Un bimbo sul leone'. WOW! After that, to the overwhelmingly Italian audience, she spoke a little in English, apologising for her 'ugly English', before reverting to her native tongue. Then it was onto 'Caffè nero bollentei'. Hit followed hit followed hit followed hit.  Highlights included 'Amore Bello', 'Le Notti di Maggio', 'Cercami' and the closing number 'Il cielo d'irlanda'.

An interprete, or what we would inelegantly call 'a covers artist', Fiorella's back catalogue is stuffed with some of the finest songs ever crafted by Italian hands. She has, however, of late written a song of her own. It is about a mother talking to child who is leaving tomorrow. You can listen to it here:

Very moving, no?  Even if you don't understand all the words. Which your Cultural Correspondent (Film and Theatre) doesn't.

But, you see, that's perhaps the greatest thing about Miss Mannoia. You don't need to understand the words. All you need to do is listen to her voice. She doesn't need lights. She doesn't need dancers. All she needs is a microphone (and her truly excellent musicians) to create something very beautiful. Something which enraptures her audience.

Only one other person has, in Your Cultural Correspondent's (Film and Theatre) experience, demonstrated a similar ability to drive a crowd wild. And that person is Dame Shirley Bassey. Now Dame Shirley has ceased doing concerts, perhaps Fiorella can lay claim to be the world's greatest entertainer.

She certainly shares a characteristic with The Dame: receiving flowers and presents from her audience. Last night, it was roses. And one of those toys of Her Majesty The Queen which waves when it has light on it. Fiorella took it out of the box and put it on top of the piano with the words 'La Regina' and from the audience came 'The Queen'. 

But in one important respect Miss Mannoia differs from Dame Shirley. Not content with shaking the hands of those who clamour at the edge of the stage, usually she comes down amongst the crowd and dances round the auditorium. Surely she can't do that tonight, Your Cultural Correspondent thought. 

They were wrong. For at the end of 'Le Parole Perdute', she placed her hands on the shoulders of those stood at the front, jumped down, and proceeded to dance herself along the edge of the stage. Embracing people, having her photograph taken with her fans, and when her fans couldn't do the selfies, she did the selfies for them.

By the end of the show the audience were besides themselves. Don't take my word for it, though.  Watch the crowd for yourself here:

Saluti da Londra.
Posted by Fiorella Mannoia on Sunday, 31 May 2015
A truly wonderful performer and a truly wonderful evening!  Come back to London soon, Fiorella!


Trending on The Moon