Local music history — Surviving to sing again
World War I interrupted the opera career of baritone Enzo Serafini.
The European soldier survived multiple combat wounds, and lived to sing again, including a 1922 performance at Glens Falls.
“He served in the World War under the Italian flag and was wounded several times, sent to the hospital in Naples where he recovered, and in knowing he was a possessor of a great voice, he was then allowed to return to opera,” The Post-Star reported on Dec. 18, 1922.
Serafini was scheduled to perform Dec. 29 in a joint recital with local pianist Giovannina de Blasiis at the Church of the Messiah Parish House.
The recital was well attended, and the audience called for multiple encores from both performers.
“Mr. Serafini sang with the intelligence of the great artist,” The Post-Star reported on Dec. 30. “His Nan Pru Andrai, Brindisi, Absence and Cavatina were especially well received.”
As for de Blasiis: “Undoubtedly this young Glens Falls artist has a bright future.”
In other music news collected from regional historic newspapers:
· On May 24, 1887, The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported that the St. Mary’s Brass Band, which had been rehearsing two nights a week for about a year, was ready for its first public appearance on Decoration Day.
“A Star reporter who was present at the rehearsal last evening was surprised to find such a fine musical organization.”
· On Aug. 1, 1890, The Granville Sentinel reported that a large crowd attended the Cambridge Band concert performed from the balcony of the Union House hotel on July 25.
“Marked improvement in the music of the band is noticeable and greatly enjoyed by the people.”
· On Aug. 15, 1890, The Granville Sentinel reported: “Greenwich was livelier than usual last Saturday night. The Greenwich Cornet band furnished music from the veranda of the Hamilton House, the Lakeville Band from the American House plaza, and the Flute Band paraded the streets.”
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