Mezzo-soprano Natalie Bancroft is a distinguished female singer who imbues her vocals with dramatic force.
The Italian classical & jazz pianist Raimondo Campisi is an unruly artist with communicable joie de vivre.
Together they make music – beautiful music – stuff from the soul.
The creative duo comes to us straight from Europe where they tour extensively, performing in jazz haunts and on classical stages. Most venues are on land – but oftentimes when they rehearse, they do so at sea. (Being a night owl, the spirited Campisi tired of neighbors complaining when he trilled on his piano past the midnight hour. So he made a sailboat into a home, installed a piano, and pulls away from shore when playing the ivories. Natalie eagerly joins him for the floating rehearsals, singing to her heart's delight).
How's that for European flare!
At 8 p.m. Saturday, August 4th, Bancroft and Campisi share their august musical talents with Spencer patrons in a summer's night voyage of lush arias and jazz standards. The concert program will include works by Rachmoninoff, Verdi, Gian Carlo Menotti, Prokofiev, Chopin, Alexander Scriabin, Camille Saint-Saëns (with Bancroft singing the arias and songs in their original English, French, Italian, German and Russian librettos) as well as jazz classics by Gershwin, Bernie, Nina Simone and others. Patrons will recognize many of the melodies like Route 66, The Man I Love, Sweet Georgia Brown, Summertime and Impossible Dream.
Natalie, the granddaughter of the late Jackie Spencer, last graced our stage in 2006, singing her vast repertoire to a full house of music lovers. Daughter of Spencer Theater Trustee Hugh Bancroft III, she was born in California, but has received the bulk of her musical training in Europe where she lives with her husband and child.
The multi-lingual artist began her vocal studies at the age of 10 and decided to pursue opera training starting at age 16. She began her classical vocal studies in 1998 with Pamela Bowden, then head of the London College of music vocal department, and also studied briefly under Gloria Davy in Geneva. She proudly completed her professional studies – receiving honors for her interpretation of Mahler's Kindertotenlieder -- in 2007 at Lausanne's l'institut de Ribaupierre under Ioana Bentoiu.
But it was with Campisi that she discovered the world of jazz, and since 2000 has shared her rich mezzo with his clear, but warm, piano interpretations.
Campisi, a musical prodigy born in Egypt to Italian-Greek parents (both distinguished musicians in their own right), has performed more than 1,000 concerts in such renowned venues as La Scala, Milano, Teatro di l'Opera in Rome; on radio and TV broadcasts in Monte Carlo, Spain, Switzerland and Italy; has composed a number of original works, is a multi-award winner on the international scale and is a recording artist. Schooled at the Conservatoire Verdi in Milan, he is a deeply expressive virtuoso, a master who was awarded the distinguished title of "Knight of the Arts" by the President of Italy in 1988.
As the Parisian journal Le Monde has said: "….Campisi seems not to belong to his age. His refined pianism… ascending in a contained dimension of sound, is always warm and expressive and bring us back to faraway times, to an amusing and naïf atmosphere.".
Excellent seats are available for this night of classics and jazz at the Spencer Theater. Call the Box office at 575.336.4800 or go online to www.spencertheater.com for tickets today!