Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sergio Franchi Memorial Tribute Returns on September 10

Eva Franchi at the Stonington Estate she shared with late husband Sergio. (Photo: Mark Mirko/ 
"Eva Franchi, widow of singer Sergio Franchi, has changed her mind. Last year she announced it would be the final time she honored her late husband with an annual tribute, featuring opera singers performing at the 240-acre Franchi estate in Stonington. But following last year's concert, she received phone calls, e-mails and letters from fans asking her to reconsider. She has. The 17th annual Sergio Franchi Memorial Concert is happening Saturday, Sept. 10 in Stonington in the home Eva Franchi shared with her husband until his death in 1990. She manages the Franchi Foundation which has awarded close to 500 scholarships to emerging tenors and sopranos. Sergio Franchi was born in 1927 in Cremona, Italy, the home town of Antonio Stradivarius, the renowned violin maker who lived in the 17th century. In his early 20s Franchi was part of a South African opera company. He returned to
Sergio Franchi recorded an album of musical theater
and operetta duets with soprano Anna Moffo
for RCA in 1963. Sample two duets:
Europe in the 1950s and in 1959, after winning a vocal competition, he performed at the London Palladium. Ella Fitzgerald heard him, recommended him and he signed with RCA Victor. In 1962 he made his debut at Carnegie Hall and was heard by Ed Sullivan. Over the years Franchi appeared on the Sullivan show 41 times. The grounds and house will be open at noon. The concert, 'Let's Hear that Music Play,' begins at 3 p.m. and features tenors Marcello Giordani, Michael Amanti, singer-songwriter Giada Valenti and pianist Nicholas King. Attendance at past concerts has ranged between 4,000 and 6,000." [Source]

According to the Foundation's and the artist's website, James Valenti will also be appearing in the concert this weekend. For more information about Sergio Franchi, please visit the official website.

Tenors celebrating at the Franchi Estate: Valenti, Amanti and Giordani:
Tickets are $30. Patrons are encouraged to picnic and bring their own lawn chairs. The Franchi estate is on Sergio Franchi Drive in Stonington off the Pequot Trail. Information: 860-535-9429 or e-mail Eva Franchi at

A word about Sergio Franchi from the Foundation website:
On May 1, 1990, after a courageous battle, Sergio lost the fight to cancer. Sergio Franchi was born in Italy, father Neapolitan, mama Genovese. He used to joke and say, "From the waist up I'm Neapolitan" (pointing to his heart) "from the waist down" (pointing to his pocket) "I'm Genovese!". The latter was the part of Sergio that gave the family the idea of starting the Sergio Franchi Music Foundation, and that instead of flowers being sent when he passed on, donations would be used to seed this idea. Sergio loved his heritage and he was also very proud to be an American! When he became an American citizen in 1972, he used to say very proudly, "Now I'm a Yankee Franchi!". Throughout his career of 28 years, Sergio was a dedicated supporter of the arts and many other charitable organizations that were geared towards his heritage and the things that he held dear, organizations such as Boy's Town of Italy, and the National Italian American Foundation. For his efforts he received the highest award from Boy's Town, the Michelangelo Award, and the title of "Cavaliery" from the Government of Italy. The intent of this foundation is to continue what he believed in...helping others. It was Sergio's fondest wish that talented, poor, deserving children be given the same chance that was once given to him. In Italy when Sergio's funds had run
out and he had to stop studying, the help and encouragement of one special friend enabled him to hang in a little longer and wait for his big 'break'. He would be so proud to know that through his name, he is still able to give. Since 1993 we have been able to award over 470 scholarships and awards to students of vocal studies, young tenors and sopranos, with the hope that through beautiful, romantic, classical music we can keep the spirit of romance alive in our hearts - The very thing that Sergio has always stood for. [Source]