Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra; Conner Prairie; June 28
Perfect weather helped create an evening of Italian love songs, with Alfred Savia returning to conduct the ISO players at their first appearance for the 2008 summer series with guest artist tenor Eduardo Villa adding to the romantic theme. The band shell was artfully turned into a facsimile of a bistro in Rome, with on-stage table seating for pre-chosen patrons. Lighting matched the sunset for the second half. Carmen Dragon’s lush arrangement for “The Carnival of Venice” was followed by Villa’s full-bodied renditions of popular Italian-American songs from the 1950s and a gorgeous presentation of Puccini’s “Nessun dorma” from Turandot. Sylvia Scott adroitly performed the piano solos for the love themes from the cinema section, featuring compositions by Nino Rota. Salvo took the keyboard for Morricone’s theme from Cinema Paradiso. The first half featured operatic works and Neopolitan songs.