Operatic Pop (A Recollection from Antiquity)

Way back in the 1970s I was in Italy (the Country where I grew up) with a charming lady, my American girlfriend at the time. That was when she got exposed, for the first time, to Italian popular song. I remember taking her one day to a studio where I was participating to the recording of a song. At the end of the session this Harriett (that was her name, and I suppose still is) she approached me and said: “My God, Marcello, how melodramatic this music really is!” And she was quite right, of course. Just, I had never noticed. Such was the tone of much of the music I had grown up with. Of course, it is hardly surprising if in that Country, where Opera was for so long, “popular music”, once Opera ceased to be a living tradition, a new form of popular music took over, still bearing some of stylistic and expressive accents, in other words, a rhetoric, reminiscent of operatic style.