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<<  -- 4 --  Bill Newman    CELEBRATORY PARADE


Spoleto is just as busy after dusk as during the day, with the siesta between midday and 3pm. One generally has a light meal in the middle of the day and a banquet at night! I fed myself during the 1.30pm get-together on the fourth floor of the residence where the Menottis used to stay in preceding years.

Everyone is encouraged to talk about their professional lives at these functions, which are informal and highly enjoyable. I made great friends with Carter Hills, now retired from the Foreign Service of the USA. Carter was looking for a young lady with whom to dance to the lilting rhythms of the orchestra which presided at the Cafe Dansant, playing potpourris from the Strauss family to Lerner and Loewe.

Orchestra at the Café Dansant. Photo: Bill Newman

Spoleto is small and distinctive enough to bring artists, journalists and music lovers together on a daily basis. Young performers are never offended when you make musical suggestions or offer comparisons with the past. They listen closely and are delighted to make known their own points of view.

I met up with 'Nanny' from the Menotti opera. I detected the Scottish brogue, but from childhood she lived in Lancashire, the daughter of a miner who brought her up strictly. 'I never minded, somehow it formed my character and made me understand other people's problems as well as sharing their joys of life.'

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Copyright © 6 November 2001 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK






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