This week, those of you who follow me on Twitter may see me tweeting in Italian. I am far from fluent, but I can read some, speak a little and write even less. My feeble attempts at tweeting in this language will be prompted by the 65th Sanremo Italian Music Festival and my love for Anna Tatangelo.
I discovered Anna in late 2006 after an unforgettable trip to Italy where I developed an interest in Italian music—pop music, not opera. At that time, I frequently watched a nineteen-year-old Anna singing on YouTube with her now life partner and future husband, Gigi D’Alessio. Late in 2007 I saw her perform in Atlantic City with Gigi, who happens to be my favorite male Italian singer. I realized then that there was something in her voice and in the emotion she conveyed with her singing that spoke to the deepest places in my heart. Since then I have seen her in concert one other time, in February 2014, when I was thrilled to meet her backstage.
I saw then, and continue to see in her, so much potential to be a world star. In April 2008, when there was nothing to be found in English on the internet about this rising star, I started a Yahoo fan group in English. Translations were difficult back then because I knew virtually no Italian and the internet was no nearly as translation-friendly as it is now. Over the years, that group has transitioned into other formats but continues today under the name of “Anna Tatangelo – America.” It remains the only English-speaking group of websites in her honor.
At the age of 15, Anna became the youngest person ever to win the in the newcomer category at Sanremo. This year’s trip is her seventh to this festival where she has also placed in the top three in four additional competitions. The festival will be held From February 10 to 14 and broadcast on Rai 1. The Rai website posts replays on their website if you are interested and unable to access it live.
After committing time to her on almost a daily basis for seven years, I have come to think of her as family. I look forward to the day when Anna will begin to sing in English. I know it will happen; she’s already sung a couple of songs in Spanish. I also realize it will not occur until she feels she can do it perfectly. She does well in anything new that she attempts whether it is dancing, modeling or live TV shows. There is limitless potential for her in the world. She has only to reach for it, and I truly hope that she does.
(This is a copy of a music video from 2103 called, Occhio per occhio (An Eye for an Eye). It’s about a woman who finds out her lover is untrue to her.)