The music you hear is a clip of Helena singing Respighi's 'Notte'
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Helena Kean

Brenda Kean

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Italy has a timeless beauty, which delights the tourist and invites us to linger in the warm Mediterranean afternoons. The sights, sounds and scents of Italy have drawn generations of artists, painters, poets, writers, composers and travellers to its shores. A visit to the classical monuments and picturesque landscapes was an essential part of the Grand Tour, which most educated young gentlemen of wealthy families were expected to undertake during the 18th and 19th Centuries.

This multi-media presentation by Music & Images Classical Events explores the Naples--Sorrento--Amalfi region of Southern Italy in a new exhibition of photographic images 'Inspirations of Italy' by Brenda Kean B.A.(Hons) and her two illustrated lectures; one discussing 'The Legacy of 79AD' and the classical sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Paestum; the second reveals the immortal beauties of the 'Land of the Sirene'. The delights of the South are complemented by the music of composers from all over the world including of the classical songs of Ottorino Respighi.

Respighi's orchestral impressions of The Fountains and The Pines of Rome are loved and enjoyed by many concert goers across the world, yet his wonderful and evocative songs are now rather neglected. The preparation of this recital is discussed in an article by Helena Kean, mezzo-soprano in the Summer 2002 edition of the Respighi Society newsletter.

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Our premiere at Towneley Hall in Burnley, Lancashire was attended by Dr Cavalcaselle, the Italian Consul from Manchester. In his letter to us following the event he wrote:

It was indeed a great pleasure for me to assist to "Italia Classica": I enjoyed very much the Respighi's recital, the lecture with the slides and the photographic exhibition. I found that the glimpse of Italy you offer through music, images and words is very interesting and attractive for the public. At least it was so for me. More important still, and clearly shows by the sensitive manner with which you treat your artistic work, is the deep commitment and love for what you do and for the country you visited.