WASHINGTON, IL -- The Heartland Festival Orchestra's New Years Greeting concert on January 6 blended classical, opera and American classic songbook numbers in an Italian theme, "That's Amore."
Two talented soloists, Sarah Jane McMahon and Sal Viviano created a show biz ambience for the event, speaking informally to the audience between songs, bantering with artistic director and conductor David Commanday.
The clever selection of music included classics from Rossini and Puccini, songs made famous by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, such as 'That's Amore,' and even the 'Love Theme' by Enno Morriconeby from the film Cinema Paradiso.
McMahon has a lovely operatic voice, and sang the gorgeous 'Un bel di vedremo' from Puccini's Madam Butterfly and 'Si,mi chiamano Mimi,' from Puccini's La Boheme.
Viviano's tribute to Sinatra, included Cole Porter's 'Night & Day,' and 'I've Got You Under my Skin.'
Other classics added to the program, from the William Tell Overture by Rossini to A Night in Vienna Overture by Johann Strauss Jr., a nod to a tradition for a New Year's concert.
The orchestra as usual sounded wonderful, and provided a big band sound for the pop vocal numbers.
The mix of styles and music actually went well together, and provided an entertaining evening, and a standing ovation from the audience to salute the talent of the performers.
-- Elaine Hopkins