Maurizio Schweizer Celentano Tribute Wins the hearts of Vancouver!

By Brunella Gaudio

On Friday night – Vancouver’s Italo-Canadian community, together with many Russian-Canadian friends (and everything in between) were treated to an epic musical performance celebrating the man and music of Adriano Celentano.
Maurizio Schweizer’s uncanny resemblance and persona, including his unique spring-like dance moves, keeping true to Celentano’s nickname Il Molleggiato, is extraordinary.
More than a music concert showcasing Celentano’s legendary songs – Schweizer and the entire ensemble delivered a story engaging and transporting the audience with humour, trivia and other Celentano references from film props to costume changes. It was a night of nostalgia, community and warm spirit – in which for a few hours we were swept away to a time and place where the music and charm filled hearts and brought smiles to faces.

Schweizer’s Celentano Tribute brilliantly shared the magic of Celentano’s influence on Italian music as an innovator, beating the time of three generations and playing with every genre from rock’n’roll to rap. With close to 30 of Celentano’s greatest songs, memorable moments included opening song Svalutation, a rockabilly-style favourite released by Celentano in 1976, and named using a mock English word taken from the Italian ‘svalutazione’ (which translates to ‘devaluation’), intended to criticize the Italian economical and political crisis of the time.

Threading themes of Celentano’s American music influence, songs also included early rock’n’roll roots from the late 50s and early 60s, when Celentano, heavily inspired by Elvis Presley, was credited for introducing rock’n’roll to Italy: Il Tuo Bacio e Come Rock and 24 Mila Baci. Love, life, social conscience and spirituality formed the foundation of many of Celentano’s songs – themes too which connected with the audience via Maurizio’s renditions of L’Emozione Non Ha Voce, Storia D’Amore, Soli, Si e Spento il Sole, Aqua e Sale, Confessa, Il Tempo Se Ne Va, Il Ragazzo Della Via Gluck, and Preghero – which is the Italian version of Ben E. King’s ‘Stand By Me’. The concert also included Toto Cutugno’s L’Italiano, a song actually proposed to Celentano first, who turned it down, saying he would never perform it because he didn’t need to say he was ‘un Italiano vero’ since he and everyone else knew he was. Interestingly enough, the roots of ‘L’Italiano’ were born in Canada after a Cutugno concert, when Cutugno was inspired by a few key words ‘lasciatemi cantare’ and later took the idea to Popy Minellono in Milan who wrote the song.

Concert attendees were also treated to scenes from Celentano’s well known films Il Bisbetico Domato with Schweizer’s trio of female vocalists performing Fiori e Fantasia, while Schweizer perfectly recreates, in rhythmic dance form and fitted cropped pants, the grape stomping scene from film. Other film references included Yuppi Du, Bingo Bongo, a comedy where Celentano played an Italian Tarzan character (with deeper message advocating humane treatment of animals) and Serafino.
The concert symbolically ends with the much anticipated Azzurro, followed by Ciao Ragazzi Ciao, where Schweizer and his ensemble embrace the room with all the ingredients of the evening that define the true meaning of being CELENTANIZED: charismatic, theatrical, legendary, engaging, and humourous with passionate warmth, capturing hearts in an authentic journey beyond expectations.
Much gratitude to Federico Fuoco and F2 Productions for bringing another spectacular concert to Vancouver – and to the community who rallied and supported this event with their presence and spirit. It takes a village to keep these cultural experiences and Italian music artists coming to this beautiful city. Grazie mille a tutti quanti per essere venuti a questo spettacolo!

Ciao ragazzi, ciao.

Ho, Ho, Hooooo…
Ciao ragazzi ciao (ciao ragazzi ciao)
Perché non ridete più, ora sono qui con voi
Ciao ragazzi ciao (ciao ragazzi ciao)
voglio dirvi che (voglio dirvi che)
che vorrei per me, grandi braccia perché
finalmente potrei, abbracciare tutti voi
Ciao ragazzi ciao (ciao ragazzi ciao)
voi sapete che (voi sapete che)
che nel mondo c’è, c’è chi prega per noi
non piangete perché, c’è chi veglia su di noi
E dico ciao, amici miei
e voi con me, direte ciao
amici miei, direte ciao
Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah (ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah)
Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah (ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah)
La mia voce sarà (la tua voce sarà)
mille voci perché (mille voci perché)
voi cantate insieme a me (noi cantiamo insieme a te)
Ciao ragazzi ciao (ciao ragazzi ciao)
voglio dirvi che (voglio dirvi che)
che vorrei per me, grandi braccia perché
finalmente potrei, abbracciare tutti voi

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