Interview by Tarja Virmakari
RICCARDO CECCHI, tenor of the Lyrical Choir Giuseppe Verdi Di Roma (also featured in the Woody Allen movie “To Rome With Love”), who earlier this year joined Luca Turilli’s RHAPSODY on their European dates of the “Prometheus Cinematic Tour” 2016 (January 15 – February 19).
Tarja Virmakari had a pleasure to meet up with Riccardo Cecchi, talking about Music and how its different genres can make a perfect fusion, creating new sensous experiences. Please join the conversation and read below:
Ciao Riccardo, at the beginning of this year we saw you singing on the stage with the “Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody” during the their last European Tour. We know You have got a classical setting, how have you arrived to this kind of music?
That’s true! I’m an opera singer. Living in Rome I had a precious opportunity: when I was a child, I had the honor to be choosen to sing in the “Choir of the Sistin Chapel”, the famous Pope’s choir. There I could improve my skill in the knowledge of musical thecnique also playing piano. So grew up my passion for singing and classical music. I have started to study lyrical thecnique since I was twenty years old and I realized that my voice has got a rare timbric color. I dedicate a lot of time to study and to exercise my voice…
And what about Heavy Metal music?
When I was 14 years old I left Sistina Chapel ‘cause of the age, I started listening Hard Rock and Heavy Metal music. It was at the end of 70s, surely the most important period for this particular kind of music.The first groups were AC/DC, Kiss and Iron Maiden, and after the other ones. I’ve just very big LP’s collection! In 90s I stopped listening this kind of music choosing opera music. Subsequently I came back to metal music listening just Rhapsody and Blind Guardian, my favorite groups.
Which was the way you landed on the LT Rhapsody’s stage?
It was just Luck, a real chance that happens once in the life and that you must immediately catch. Now I have to point out that I am not only a solist singer but I also sing in a “Coro Giuseppe Verdi di Roma” (www.corogiuseppeverdi.com). This is a very famous Choir in Italy and we took part to very important perfomances as the Concert to Anniversary of the Twin Towers terrorist attack or to remember the victims of the heartquake in Abruzzo. We also performed in a Woody Allen’s movie, “To Rome with love”: we sang on the stage with famous italian tenor, Fabio Armiliato, performing Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci”.
I usualy manage about my choir’s performances planning looking for concerts or particular events. Listening Rhapsody’s music I noticed that Luca Turilli offen uses lyrical choirs in his songs so I contacted him to suggest a collaboration. We had an interesting exchange of emails and phone calls: we soon became good friends, sharing same musical interest. He listened to my voice and wanted me as special guest for his “Prometheus Cinematic Tour 2016” all around Europe. It was a new great experience for me! That’s my new way!!!
What about your experience with the band during the tour?
It was the most exciting experience in my life. It was a pity that my English wasn’t so fluent as I would like! Anyway I found the way to comunicate with my travel mates. I also had the precious chance to visit the most important European towns. Traveling on a tour bus wasn’t very confortable but surely funny! During the travel I had a bad sore throat, because of the low temperatures in the cold winter of Northern Europe, and I was worried about my voice. Fortunately I solved my problem in a few days.
The guys of the band and the crew too were all fantastic! I have wonderful memories of nightly conversations with Luca on Symphonic and Opera Music. I also recall with great pleasure the advice of Ale Conti, not only a wonderful singer but also a brilliant illustrator; interesting walks downtown with Patric and Dominique (bass and second guitar of LT’s Rhapsody); the beautiful relationship that was created with Van and Emilie (keyboard and soprano of LT’s Rhapsody), with her I had a funny dancing in the backstage during the break of the concert; sympathy and skill of Alex (drummer of LT’s Rhapsody). Furthermore I will never forget all the others (Michele Sanna, Nadia Bellir, Chris Lights, Lars Dietrich, Lars Hoffmann, Bapt Fly, Carsten Lederer, Tom Braakmann) and all the guys of the bands who followed Rhapsody on this tour (Iron Mask, Qantice, Temperance and Ancient Bards)!
A very big satisfation was to realize the great reaction of the audience during the concerts. It was just a great idea to put two opera singers on stage with the band! It was really cinematic sound!
While I was singing I looked at young spectators and noticed the wonder and excitement in their eyes when Emilie and I were starting to sing our parts. I remember with pleasure a fact happened in Monaco, when an old guy, metalhead, wearing a worned leather jacket full of studs and coats of arms, asked to meet me and as soon as I was in front of him he hugged me and kissed with complimenting affection for my voice. I was so surprised to know that lyric voice was appreciated so much!
What are you plans for the future?
This wonderful experience has given me a new verve to start thinking about new projects that move away a bit from the scope in which they are accustomed to moving. I noticed that in Epic Metal music female lyric voice is more used than the male one. If we think of Nightwish, Epica or the same LT’s Rhapsody (with the talented Emilie Ragni). I’ve never heard male lyric singers (tenor, baritone or bass) in Epic Metal Band. So my participation in concerts of LT’Rhapsody was a bit a novelty and riding the wave I’m proposing a different Band as lyrical voice in recordings or live concerts.
At the moment I’m recording with Ercole Buccolieri and his “Il Confine” a song for their new CD which probably will be released next year. It’s a really nice song, that gives me an incredible verve. “Il Confine” is an Apulian band led by Ercole Buccolieri and produced by Angelo Emanuele Buccolieri. Their studio album entitled “Ctrl + Alt + Delete” recorded for the Alka Records Label have to their credit.
I am also in contact with other composers who are writing songs suited to my voice.
I can anticipate that next year I will have a part as a lyrical voice in the Magic Kingdom’s new album, the title will be “The Baroque Opera – Metallic Tragedy – chapter 3”.
I must admit that the contribution of a male lyric voice is an added value for some songs, gives the music a more epic sound.
Personally however I have two major projects. I’m planning to create a band, which is a bit special. A small group of opera singers (sopranos, altos, tenors and baritones / basses). Not a choir in the strict sense of the term, say more soloists / singers. We will alternate pieces “a cappella” or accompanied by a band, or single musician will participate in songs. We propose as a support for other bands, but we will follow our projects.
Another project that I care a lot, and I consider a kind of fusion of my love for classical music and one for the Heavy Metal, is the composition of a “Messa da Requiem” in key Epic Metal, with orchestra, choir and band metal.
Another project more interests me a lot is a “concept album” on which I’m going to work together with Giulio Capone, drummed of Temperance. This album will be based on a fantasy story created by me. The songs are of varous types: some “a cappella”, others with opera soloist and opera choir, other with metal singer, other orchestral.
Will you update us about your future projects?
Yes, of course! It was a great pleasure to answer your questions! I greet all the readers of Metal Shock Finland! Thanks a lot!
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Intro and Unholy WarCry/Luca Turilli’s Rhapsody: