The Love Songs of Paola Tosti – Gillian Zammit – CB6016
£9.99 – £15.99
“Roles include Semele, Tales of Hoffmann, Gianni Schicchi, Hansel and Gretel, Die Zauberflote and Rigoletto which gained her glowing reviews from OPERA magazine”
Francesco Paolo Tosti was born on April 9 1846 in Ortona Italy. As a child he took violin lessons and by the age of 12 had been accepted into the Naples Conservatory. In 1870 he made his way to Rome where he served in the court of the Princess Margherita of Savoy, the future queen of Italy. In Rome he was accepted into the most fashionable salons of the time, making a name for himself as a composer and as a singing teacher.
After Rome Tosti moved to London and by 1880 had become the singing leather to Queen Victoria’s children. He taught at the Royal College of Music and [he Royal Academy of Music and in 1906 he became a British citizen and was knighted in 1908. Tosti returned to Rome in 1912 and died there on 2nd December 1916.
Tosti composed over 350 songs in Italian, French, English and the Neapolitan dialect. His Italian songs have a distinctive quality, featuring beautiful ltalianate melodic phrases together with a deceptively simple elegance. One element that links all of Tosti’s songs is his choice of poetic text. Perhaps more than any other composer of the era, his songs are distinguished by a finer quality of literary works. Tosti’s never-ending search for the best in contemporary literature is highlighted by the use of poetry of such writers as D’Annunzio and Hugo amongst others.
Tosti’s French songs moved towards a new stylistic idiom. His choice of some of the finest French poets including Prudhomme and Bourget inspired him to move away from his characteristic Italianate melodies into a more refined and graceful style. Tosti gave a musical voice to many lesser, forgotten poets such as Bouchor and Chevalet and immortalised their lyrics. Above all Tosti’s songs centered around a single, universal and unifying theme, that of love.
Maltese soprano Gillian Zammit studied in Italy with Carlo Bergonzi and Victoria de los Angeles and is a versatile performer with an operatic repertoire that ranges from Baroque to 20th century opera. Roles include Semele, Tales of Hoffmann, Gianni Schicchi, Hansel and Gretel, Die Zauberflöte and Rigoletto which gained her glowing reviews from OPERA magazine.
Gillian is also highly regarded as a rectal singer with a varied repertoire of Lieder, Spanish, French and Italian song, as well as being a respected exponent of Maltese Baroque music of which she has recorded several CD’s. She has performed in Germany, US. France, London, and Romania and has collaborated with many notable artists including Joseph Calleja.
Lucia Micallef was born in Malta and studied the piano with Giovanna Bascetta, subsequently winning a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Music, London, with Prof. Lois Phillips.
She has performed in Europe and Canada and has taken part in numerous festivals including the Prague Easter Festival and the Edinburgh Festival. Apart from her work as a soloist, she has also collaborated with many distinguished artists such as Stefan Popov, Daniel Hope and Vladimir Ovchinnikov. Broadcasts include BBC, TVM, Mezzo, and CBC.