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Tuesday, 12 February 2013 19:25

Italy: First Night of Sanremo 2013 - LIVE

RAI, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest has gained worldwide recognition for hosting the annual Sanremo competition in the Ariston Theatre and this year will be no different. The music competition has become somewhat of an institution and the 63rd edition will prove to be slightly different due to the fact that each of the selected artists will be performing two entries in the category formally known as 'Campioni' with reference to some of the renowned performers in the industry. The acts competing in the 'Giovani' category will be presented this evening but will not be performing according to our sources. The show could be watched through RAI 1 on Satellite, although one could find it on Reception Television. Follow the show online through the official website of the competition.

The entry for the Eurovision Song Contest will not be the track that any of the artists will be performing and this is due to the fact that the record label would rather select something more international, as was the case with L'Amore e Femmina (Out of Love) by Nina Zilli in 2012, managing a ninth place finish after a mid-table result by the public and a top ten placing through the panel of jury. The year before that, Raphael Gaulazzi, a newcomer had managed second place with his Madness of Love (Follia D'Amore) and that put things into perspective. This years' Sanremo competition is being hosted by Fabio Fazio and Luciana Littizzetto, the former being none other than the producer for this years' proceedings. The first seven acts will present two entries each today, with another seven acts presenting two entries tomorrow. On the third night, they will be returning with just one song each though as the delibaration between the orchestra, public and the media will decide.

The Show

Honestly, it is brilliant to hear the Te Deum at the beginning of the broadcaster and following a quick word regarding adverts, Fabrizio Fazio is on stage wearing a black suit with a white shirt, black tie and looking ready to take over this show. The orchestra of Sanremo is already pretty busy because they are playing one of the successful compositions by Verdi. It wouldn't be Italian if a choir didn't show up on the opening night of the competition. Nevertheless, this adds to the grandeur of the show. This is absolutely beautiful and a roaring applause from the audience inside the Ariston Theatre. What a stage, this is incredible and several broadcasters should take note how a show should be hosted! Luciana Littizzetto has just arrived at the venue wearing an Audrey Hepburn inspired outfit and what is so stunning about this entrance is that it feels like it has come out of a fairytale. A monologue by our female host this evening, which includes several comic references including to the Former Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. Following a commercial break, things are moving forward as our female host introduces the orchestra conductor and the first artist.

Running Order

Marco MengoniBellissimo and L’essenziale

L'EssenzialeMarco Mengoni is wearing a navy suit, a colour which is very much in fashion this year especially with regards to the males. This is one male artist who doesn't require an introduction having become famous through a talent show in Italy. The track, is a mid-tempo track which is being well received in the hall. His vocals are spot on this evening and it seems that he is enjoying his performance. The stage, incredibly bathed in blue and purple lights is just stunning and you could just look at it without noticing what's going on. The bridge is slightly a disappointment compared to the rest of the song but nevertheless, he picks it up well with the vocals and that is quite important. A good opening entry and loving the diction of the Italian.

Bellisimo: Well, I am not sure that it is a good idea for the same performer to sing his two entries right after each other and now we have a second track, an uptempo song which Marco is enjoying even more than his first performance. The lighting in this one is a mixture of red, yellow and blue but nevertheless, the focus is definitely on the performer whose stage charisma has come an extremely long way for his initial performances a couple of years back. He is the favourite to represent Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest and any one of these two entries would do well, although my theory is that this one would do better, especially as it has the addition of a guitar, and some backing vocals, giving it edge. Whoa! Am impressed earlier on!

Qualified: L'Essenziale

Raphael Gualazzi: Sai (ci basta un sogno) and Senza ritegno

Senza ritegnoRaphael Gualazzi, the 2011 representative at the Eurovision Song Contest is at ease as he takes to the stage on his piano, an element which has somewhat made his career as successful in recent years. He is wearing a blue suit, and it very much shows how much male artists in Italy look after their image. This is a pop song infused with jazz and his vocals, are as always, over the top but nevertheless beautiful. He is closing his eyes throughout the whole performance but it gives him solitude and characterization. The audience is not sure what to make of this performance but one gets the feeling that the orchestra are pretty much enjoying it. I am not sure such a song would be well respected at the Eurovision Song Contest because it comes with a particular audience.

Sai (ci basta un sogno): The second track being presented this evening is completely different from the first but one does initially get the feeling that Raphael is going to have difficulty performing this because he is being forced slightly from a vocal perspective. The musical notes in this one are much more beautiful, and it builds up beautifully with the piano, which he is playing once more. The star quality surrounding Gualazzi is stunning and he enjoys performing to the audience. This would definitely be a hit in Italy, although his vocals are sounding slightly strained to be honest and that could very much be the downfull of the track. Hitting the upper register was definitely not an issue but the people are clapping mid-way through and this seems to be the favourite to qualify out of the two!

Qualified: Sai (ci basta un sogno)

Daniele Silvestri: A bocca chiusa and Il bisogno di te (Ricatto d’onor)

A bocca chiusa: A typical entry for the Sanremo competition and Silvestri like his previous performer is playing the piano and suddenly, an orchestra is picking up the music and there is an element of silence about this song giving it an edge over the tracks performed before hand. This will be definitely one of the songs which will do well in the final night and something in this manner would very much be appreciated abroad. The vocals are good but one has to point out that it sounds more like a conversation between the performer and the audience. Behind Silvestri, there is a man who is doing sign language. The harmony near the end of the song is just beautiful we might have heard this years' Sanremo winner! I am actually sorry that I did not write more but it was too good to concentrate on writing at times!

Il bisogno di te (Ricatto d’onor): Daniele Silvestri takes to the stage to perform his second entry this evening and it is completely different from the first one which does not actually mean bad news because this is a pop track which sticks out from the rest. He has the additional female backing vocals in this one and that gives it a different sound. Nevertheless, despite being more modern than the first one, and the fact that the vocals do indeed sound more whole in this one, the other track is much more emotional and the people will surely head emotion considering that Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Daniele Silvestri might have it his way this year though! Enjoyed this performance but nevertheless, things are turning out to be serious as the hosts quickly stop the tele-voting.

QualifiedA bocca chiusa

Simona Molinari & Peter Cincotti: La felicità and Dr. Jekyll e Mr. Hyde

Dr. Jekyll e Mr. Hyde: A duet, the first and online of the evening is based on a novel, and a musical so we have to see what type of genre they will potray. Simona is wearing a short dress, which involced a red shirt and a silver blouse. Old school is the best way to describe the genre with big band fused into soul. Peter Cincotti is wearing a black suit and is very classically dressed near his duet partner. The staging is a mixture of red and blue, and once more, this looks incredibly on screen. That line in English goes a long way for the foreign viewers and the piano playing mid-way throug the song is also a positive addition to this track to which I am bopping my head to. The quality in this years' edition of Sanremo is stunning and RAI should be commended on the production values.

La Felicità: Once more, this big band sound sound very positive and the orchestra is playing a major role in the delivery noting that the playback version might not be that effective. Simona's vocals are much better in this track and one has to enjoy the background vocals of the male because they give the song a bit of distinction. The other song is more original musically but this one is performed extremely well. In Malta, this genre is somewhat attributed to Janvil and thus, here comes the Italian Charleston. This is catchier and more easy going on the ear. I really hope that this is the one which ultimately get through. Simona speaks about how much fun she had performing the songs.

Qualified: La Felicità

Marta sui Tubi: Vorrei and Dispari

Dispari: I have been warned that this will be very much love or hate and indeed, it is quite different to what has been played thus far, and following a long break, honestly, this still sounds better. The leader performer is wearing a typical rock ghetto and he seems to be sporting a moustache in the vein of Freddie Mercury. The song is somewhat undescribable as there is a fusion of several genres. The vocals are as good as one believes they should be in this type of song. Loving the cellos and the guitars mid-way through the song but this is not in my alley and the choice in my opinion would be on the song which I hate, the most!

Vorrei: This is a much better song than the first one but seriously, could somebody tell the lead performer that he cannot sing, he is straining the opening notes of this one and it sounds extremely wrong. The guitars are once more playing a huge role in this performance, and as a matter of fact, there is some authenticity. Shouting, Shouting, and more Shouting, gives you credibility in Italy it seems. Whoa! It seems that the break was actually better, as this is turning out to be a nightmare. There has to be one artist to spoil the fun at Sanremo and it seems that Maria Sui Tubi works all those angles. Both songs should be eliminated by one will have to pass!

Qualified: Vorrei

Maria Nazionale: Quando non parlo and E’ colpa mia

Quando Non Parlo: Maria Nazionale and her deep vocals take to the stage of Sanremo wearing a flaming pink dress. Ethnic and flamenco would be the best way to describe the genre of this entry and once more, the orchestra is very pivotal to the overall outcome of this track. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of Spanish eleemtns in the song, similar to something that would be performed by Monica Naranjo or Pastora Soler. The performer in the meantime is enjoying herself quite a lot on the stage and would do with a bit of dancing around as seen during the Melodi Grand Prix final with Lucky Lips. The lighting is stunning, with blue being predominant in order to make her stand out more. Beautiful track, I really like it.

E’ colpa mia: A whole flock of violins kicks this track off and one could easily note that this is more suited to the Italian market than the previously presented track. The music is kept to the bare minimum and that is why Maria's vocals shine through the song because she carries is beautifully. The people are enchanted by the vocals and they applaud loudly as it comes to an end. It is emotional and beautiful in every sense of the word and I cannot really identity Maria with being an Italian because she has a lot of sensuality about her making her sound extremely Spanish. Nevertheless, another contender for the victory at the end of the week.

Qualified: E’ colpa mia

Chiara Galiazzo: L’esperienza dell’amore and Il futuro che sarà

L’esperienza dell’amore: The first track from this years' bookies favourite, Chiara is a pop/rock type of ballad which evolves well. We have an artist who is somewhat inexperienced having just come out of the X Factor Italia competition a couple of months back. She is performing this as if it is her last performance on earth but I am not sure about the song per se, because it seems like it doesn't really go anywhere and it makes it difficult to really weigh in the seriousness of the performance. Her vocals are good, nothing outstanding but nevertheless, left a bit cold after stunning performances from Maria Nazionale and Daniele Silvestri.

Il futuro che sarà: Well, this is a completely different side to Chiara and the one which I was expected to come out relatively earlier. A jazz, soul type of genre complementary to the vocals that she knows to provide, with that slight raspiness. The track is much more current and would be more liked by the audience of the Sanremo competition, which is slightly older. Nevertheless, I still do not believe that Chiara has a winning entry in either of the two tracks but this is definitely the track that should head onto the next round because the other one was just plain disappointing. I believe that we should expect stronger tracks tomorrow but this evenings' winners were clearly singled out.

QualifiedIl futuro che sarà

The first evening of the Sanremo competition comes to an end as Fabio Fazio and Luciana Littizzetto recap the performances of the evening, those which did qualify and which will be performed for a second time on Thursday evening following the choice of another seven tracks tomorrow evening. Tune into escflashmalta.com for another LIVE Report from Sanremo 2013 as Marc Calleja Bayliss reviews the performances. Thanks for tuning in this evening and a hearty congratulations goes to RAI for putting up a magnificient show.

Published in Sanremo

RAI, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Italy at the Eurovision Song Contest have enjoyed relative success on their return to the competition in the past two years with the acts chosen from the Sanremo competition achieving top ten results. An internal panel of appointed music experts were behind the initial two decisions whilst a consensus also needs to be reached with a particular record label which would represent a number of the competing artists within the competition, whether in the Campioni or the Giovani category. Rumours have been on the increase in the past couple of weeks, noting that the public would like to see Marco Mengoni fly the flag on behalf of the country. It could be a strong consideration if the broadcaster, RAI is aiming for high viewing figures.

This years’ edition of Sanremo will be taking place in the week starting 11th February and escflashmalta.com will be on hand to cover the event in the best possible manner. Our senior editor, Elaine Camilleri will be taking over her annual duties to cover the event along with the rest of the editorial board. Italy have won the Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions, the first time in 1964 with Non Ho L’Eta performed by Gigliola Cinquetti and the second time in 1990 with Insieme: 1992 sung by Toto Cotungo. RAI confirms that the choice of the artist will be made from the Sanremo competition and therefore the list of potential candidates has been brought down to twenty one (21) acts in total, eight competing in the Giovani category with thirteen (13) competing in the Campioni Category. The list of potential representatives could be found just below.

Campioni Category:

Giovani Category:

Whilst it is highly unlikely, there is a possibility that former representative; Raphael Gualazzi might be select to represent Italy for a second time. He has gained considerable fame since his experience in Dusseldorf and might choose to take up the proposal again but in the meantime, there are a number of intriguing candidates including Max Gazze’ who has performed with 2002 Eurovision Song Contest representative; Ira Losco in the past couple of months during one of his notable tours. Competing in this years’ Sanremo as well is former winner; Simone Cristicchi. In the meantime, we would like you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news from this years’ edition of Sanremo as well as the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Malmo, Sweden.

Source: RAI, Eurovision.tv


Published in Sanremo
Thursday, 13 December 2012 14:55

Italy: Sanremo 2013 Finalists Revealed

RAI has always been extremely influential in the concepts adopted by the European Broadcasting Union and in fact, one of the most popular music competitions to take place in Europe is surely Sanremo noting that surrounding countries are known to tune in and increase viewership during all of the evenings especially because the cream of the crop are always known to be in the final running order. Just a couple of hours ago, the broadcaster made the revelation of the fourteen artists who will ultimately compete for the elite prize. One of the acts will most likely also become the Italian representative at the Eurovision Song Contest considering that this years' representative; Nina Zilli competed amongst the established performers and ultimately achieved ninth place in Baku, Azerbaijan with her track L'Amore e Femmina despite being one of the bookies' favourites to win.

The fourteen acts that will be competing in the next edition of Sanremo will be performing two songs each and this element has been introduced by Fabio Fazio, the new director in a bid to let all of the renowned artists chosen to compete throughout all of the week with the best possible song as chosen by the jury and the public. The list of performers is actually quite intriguing this time round as it seems that there is more star power than the past two years in particular noting that artists from reality shows such as X Factor and Amici make a comeback in the form of Annalisa and Marco Mengoni. The latter is apparently the favourite of the public to represent Italy in the next edition of the Eurovision Song Contest and therefore his participation in Sanremo makes this a viable option by RAI should the broadcaster and his record label come to a general compromise.

  • Almamegretta (Mamma non lo sa / Onda che vai)
  • Annalisa (Non so ballare / Scintille)
  • Chiara (L’esperienza dell’amore / Il futuro che sarà)
  • Daniele Silvestri (A bocca chiusa / Il bisogno di te)
  • Elio e le storie tese (Dannati forever / La canzone mononota)
  • Malika Ayane (Niente . E se poi)
  • Marco Mengoni (Bellissimo / L’essenziale)
  • Maria Nazionale (Quando non parlo / E’ colpa mia)
  • Marta sui tubi (Dispari / Vorrei)
  • Max Gazze’ (Sotto casa / I tuoi maledettisimi impegni)
  • Modà (Come l’acqua dentro il mare / Se si potesse non morire)
  • Raphael Gualazzi (Sai (ci basta un sogno) / Senza ritegno)
  • Simona Molinari con Peter Cincotti (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide / La felicità)
  • Simone Cristicchi (Mi manchi / La prima volta)

It is quite intriguing that former winners return to the fray and 2013 seems to be no different because Simone Cristicchi who was propelled to fame following his victory in 2007, returns as well along with the 2011 runners-up Modà. Nevertheless, the biggest surprise is surely when it comes to Raphael Gualazzi who represented Italy in the Eurovision Song Contest held in Dusseldorf, Germany back in 2011 with Madness of Love finishing in second place just behind Running Scared performed by Ell & Nikki on behalf of Azerbaijan. Italy won the Eurovision Song Contest twice, the first time thanks to Gigliola Cinquetti with Non Ho L'Eta and the second time round with Toto Cotugno and his track Insieme. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com as we keep you posted with all of the latest happenings from Italy as we plan to cover the selection procedure as it unravels as we had done earlier year.

Source: RAI



Published in Sanremo