Ricordi Di Sanremo – Memories of Sanremo

Last night the Astor Theatre hosted a collage of Italian stars in Ricordi Di Sanremo, a concert covering three generations of memories from Italy’s most popular music festival, for one night only.

The annual Sanremo Music Festival, which has been running in the coastal city of Sanremo since 1951, was originally established as a pathway to revitalizing its economy and survives to this day. Accordingly, The Sanremo Music Festival also holds the distinction of being the longest-running annual TV music competition in the world and served as the inspiration for the creation of the Eurovision Song Contest. What sets the Sanremo Music Festival apart is its unique focus on new songs only.

Ricordi di Sanremo showcases songs representing the most cherished memories from three generations of the music festival and a few fan favourites recognised across the globe. All these are performed by an ensemble of international and Italian-Australian artists such as Pupo, The Esteriore Brothers, Silvia Colloca, Luca Sala, Corinta, and many others.

Ricordi Di Sanremo

Our host for the evening, the Italian star Pupo, released his first album in 1976 and was a former winner of the 1980 Sanremo Music Festival with the gold record-winning song “Su di noi (Above us).” To date, Pupo has earned 11 gold records.

Much of the evening’s content was delivered in Italian. Given that most of the audience consisted of expat Italians, I felt like I might have been the only person needing to fully grasp the content of the presentations. Yet, despite language barriers, the ensemble’s energy shone through all night.

Touches of nostalgia were evident, with a cinema screen backdrop often displaying videos of the performers from generations ago as they sang live on stage. Pupo proved an adept host, expertly MC’ing the event to the audience’s evident delight. Family connections also graced the stage as stars from Italian music’s past performed duets with their vocally gifted daughters. Among the standout moments of the evening was the opening act, performed by Pupo, which warmed up the audience with its vibrant energy and exceptional guitar play.

Another standout was Pupo’s performance of his pop hit “Gelato al cioccolato,” accompanied by the showing of his 1980 music video against the cinema screen backdrop. A song mentioning gelato is bound to be sweet, and it delighted the crowd. Pupo doesn’t appear to have slowed down over the past 40+ years and remains an excellent performer.

The Esteriore Brothers, resembling a quintessential boy band, were crowd-pleasers, especially among the ladies. Their mere presence seemed enough to warrant applause! True to Italian flair, the entire ensemble appeared impeccably dressed and presented themselves in style.

Ricordi Di Sanremo

Other fan favourites incorporated into the night’s entertainment and familiar to international audiences included That’s Amore, Quando Quando Quando, Mamma Maria, and Volare, among others.

The night was a delightful mix of great music, vintage tunes, family connections, nostalgia, and a vibrant ensemble that joyfully engaged with a receptive audience, making it a night to remember.

After first touring Australia in 2022, this festival is set to become an annual event. Ricordi Di Sanremo’s 2023 Australian tour will move on next to Adelaide, Sydney, and Melbourne, but all for one-night-only performances. So be sure to be prompt about securing your spot this year, but also keep your eyes out for them next year. Ciao!

This review also appears on It’s On The House, or click here to read more Dark Stories Theatre Reviews.

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