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October 4, 2010     Cape Gazette
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|* 74 FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1 - MONDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2010 Cape Gazette Famous sopranO draws crowd of 400 to theater By Rob Kunzig rkunzig@capegazette.com Opera recitals are typically tuxedo terri- tory, but Aprile Millo's evening in Lewes yeas spiced with light moments, more inti- r ate than intimidating. "I love Delaware, but it doesn't love me" the queenly soprano told her audience at Cape Henlopen High School. "I've had al- lergies like you wouldn't believe." Friendly banter gave the performance some surpris- ing comedy, and the audience llaughed as often as it applauded. "This isn't your normal recital," MiUo said. "We're going to have fun." Mitlo's re- sume is studded with accomplishment; her 1989 performance of Verdi's ' dda" won an Emmy. "1 thought it was a very high-level per- figmance," said Lewes Councilman Ted Becker. "It would rival many productions in a much more urban area" Whe.n her sister - a composer and lyri- cist, who assisted Millo for the night's show - forgot her sheet music, the soprano said: "Perhaps I should go see what is keeping the cook." Millo was accompanied by an entourage of skilled musicians. Timothy Shannon, who teaches classical guitar at Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, N.Y., strummed along for two numbers; Christo- p er Collins Lee played violin, using the in- s h3ment of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's father for one selection. Mary-Lou Vetere may have come closest stealing the show, striding across the stage unencumbered by a 65-pound accor- dion strapped to her chest. She bobbed and 'ayed as she stretched the bellows across her lap, fingers dancing over the keys. Becker called her performance thrilling. "I came away with a whole new respect accordions, he stud. After powering through Puccini's "Lag- giu' nel Soledad," Millo confessed she was f gging a bit under the heat of the stage lights. "I feel a little bit like Tinkerbell," she said. you applaud, I shall stay alive." She gave the audience a slice from her core repertoire, singing "Ciel, mio padre!" from Verdi's 'gdda" opposite baritone Peter akioon Kim. For her last number, pianist Lucy Arner couldn't fred the accompany- ing sheet music. Filling her lungs one last t ne, Mitlo did the song solo, bringing lis- teners to their feet for a standing ovation. Mille's recital was sponsored by Pruden- Gallo-Touch of Italy Foundation, and the evening raised funds for Cape Hen- lopen Education Foundation, CAMP Re- hoboth, Autism Delaware and the Lewes Rehoboth Rotary Clubs. Co-founder Tricia Ratner estimated the crowd at 400 people. She said Touch of Italy Foundation Ires yet to tally its earnings from Millo's performance. APRILE MILLO OPENS with Stefano Donaudy's "0 del mio amato ben." Joined onstage by members of U.S. Armed Forces, Millo leads the audience in singing "The Star-Spangled Banner." Lucy Arner, left, accompanies on piano. ROB KUNZIG PHOTOS Event organizers, left, with The Prudential Gallo-Touch of Italy foundation gathered before Millo took the stage. Shown in back are (I-r) Bob Ciprietti, Lou Bascio and Clau- dia Ratner. In front are (I-r) Diane Bascio, Frank Bascio, Toni Ann Mamone, Bette Gall0, Sal Gallo, Tricia Ratner and Andrew Rather. Internationally renowned ballroom dancers Iveta Lukosuite, left, and Gher- man Mustuc perform an intermezzo from Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana" before Millo took the stage.