In a captivating evening filled with soulful melodies and enchanting harmonies, the Italian ensemble Il Quintetto took centre stage at the prestigious 32nd Bahrain International Music Festival.
The Cultural Hall was alive with electrifying energy as the five member group paid a heartfelt homage to the legendary Italian composer, Ennio Morricone. The concert “A Tribute to Ennio Morricone: Oscar Film Scores by il Quintetto” was organised by the Italian Embassy in Bahrain in collaboration with the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA). The ensemble performed twelve musical compositions created by Maestro Morricone for iconic worldwide dramas and western films. Among the soundtracks played were the BAFTA Award winning Cinema Paradiso (1988), the Golden Globe and BAFTA Award-winning Mission (1986), and scores from the international box-office successes directed by Sergio Leone (Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), A Fistful of Dollars (1964), and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). The theatre was a “full house,” and the audience included BACA president Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, representatives of Bahraini institutions and embassies, local society, and students of the Grazia Deledda Centre for Italian Language and Culture.
“The Bahrain International Music Festival is an event that brings together musicians from all over the world, symbolising Bahrain’s openness to cultural diversity and keen attentiveness to art,” said Italian Ambassador Paola Amadei. “It is always a pleasure to present Italian music masterpieces as award-winning soundtracks composed by the great Ennio Morricone and to see such high participation, which demonstrates the continuous appreciation and affection of the Bahraini community for Italy.”
Under the masterful guidance of producer and manager Francesca Campagna, Il Quintetto showcased their exceptional talent and unwavering passion for music. The audience was spellbound as the quintet masterfully weaved together the essence of Morricone’s iconic compositions into a unique and breathtaking performance.
At the forefront of this musical spectacle were Norberto Gonçalves Da Cruz and Michele Mucci, their nimble fingers dancing effortlessly across the mandolin strings, creating an intricate tapestry of sound. Their virtuosity and precision were indeed a testament to their years of dedication to their craft. Andrea Pace lent his expertise on the guitar, adding depth and warmth to the ensemble’s sound. His immaculate fingerpicking displayed a remarkable synergy with his fellow musicians, creating an enchanting backdrop for the evocative melodies that filled the air.
Valdimiro Buzi, wielding the mandola, brought a vibrant energy to the performance. His skilled hands effortlessly evoked a wide range of emotions, transporting the audience to the vast landscapes of Morricone’s film scores. Each note resonated with a sense of nostalgia, as if carrying the essence of the composer’s soul. Emiliano Piccolini anchored the ensemble with his commanding presence on the double bass. His rich and velvety tones added a depth and resonance that grounded the performance and provided a solid foundation for the others to build upon.
The 32nd Bahrain International Music Festival will forever be remembered as the night of Il Quintetto, who painted an indelible musical portrait of Ennio Morricone’s legacy. Their unwavering dedication, skill, and passion for the art form brought his iconic compositions to life, leaving a lasting imprint on the hearts and minds of all who attended.
The musicians sat down for an exclusive interview with the Bahrain This Week where they shared their experiences, inspirations, and the joy they found in performing in Bahrain. During the exciting conversation, each member of Il Quintetto took turns expressing their gratitude for being a part of such a remarkable opportunity in Bahrain.
Francesca, the driving force behind Il Quintetto, explained the journey of preparing for the festival, which she said was spent in countless hours rehearsing, refining interpretations, and striving for perfection. “Bahrain has always provided the perfect platform for us to showcase our dedication and passion for music. Performing at the Bahrain International Music Festival is really special, and we feel honoured to share our music with such an appreciative audience.”
Norberto, who has visited and performed in Bahrain earlier, remarked, “Bahrain’s appreciation for music and the arts is truly inspiring. It drives us to give our best on stage and share the magic of live music with the audiences here.”
Michele, his fellow mandolin player, emphasised the cultural significance of their tribute to Ennio Morricone, saying, “Morricone’s music is timeless, and we aimed to honour his legacy through our performance. Being able to do so in Bahrain, where music has such a rich heritage, was truly special.”
Andrea, the talented guitarist, shared his appreciation for the diversity of the audience, stating, “Bahrain has a melting pot of cultures, and seeing the audience react and connect with our music, regardless of language or background, was a humbling experience.”
Emiliano, the double bass player, the only artist who travels without his instrument, highlighted the efforts needed to become familiar with the instrument, which he usually sources locally. “I have to practice it, and it is like a broken love story ever— soon as I become familiar with the instrument and fall in love with it, it will be time to leave,” he narrated with a chuckle.
Valdimiro, the mandola player, who was performing in Bahrain for the first time, is also unique for being the one who has played himself with the maestro in his younger age. He spoke of the camaraderie and chemistry within the group, saying, “Il Quintetto is not just about individual talent but also about the connection we have as friends and musicians. Our bond translates into the harmonies and emotions that are felt in our performances, and it is a beautiful feeling to pay a musical tribute to the maestro.”