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Charles Pitt, from Los Angeles, comes with a lavish kind of reference: pop-goddess Madonna calls him the sexiest tenor alive. He plays polo matches, water-skis, has a secondary career as an actor and is revolutionizing the opera scene in America by coining the term 'popera': MTV style opera videos, shown on MTV, which bring young people to the point of becoming enthusiastic about classical music. This can't be a bad thing. It works, the voice being rather good for a popular tenor, with a sweet touch to it. His début CD, Be My Love, is already selling quite well. Pitt is at his best with such pieces as track 3, Granada, and, of course, with musicals. On his début CD another track that needs to be heard to appreciate what he has on offer vocally is of a more popular variety, Amici, which he does extraordinarily well, with distinct baritonal touch to his voice, and which shows why the American audiences are increasingly falling under the spell of the sportive tenor. Pitt is mixing pop and opera, as his trade name suggests, and so it is difficult to place him in one or the other. But perhaps one does not need to, as he seems to have invented his own category and is doing just fine with that. He gets good reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. 'His singing is not only beautiful but healing', USA Today writes of him, and The Times (London) says: 'His voice falls on the ear like the warm touch of a lover's hand'. Information about Pitt can be found on his website: www.charlespitt.com
Carmine Natale signs autographs after a Munich concert. Photo © Anja Ullrich
Italian tenor Carmine Natale does not make it easy on himself: he has chosen to follow in the footsteps of the great Caruso, with whom he shares the same birthday. He also stems from the same region in Italy and has been under the influence of the Canzone Napolitane since early childhood. The son of a landowner, he had to fight his way into a musical career against his family's wishes, something that shows just how passionate he is about singing. Having been away from the scene for a while, he is now working on his comeback and is looking for a revival of the success of his album La Canzone Napoletana where he made a good impact in continental Europe. At age 40 plus, he is somewhat behind the times since he does not have a website and is very much averse to all things internet-related. His above-mentioned CD, for instance, is not even available through amazon.com. Sadly, this means that he is working on what will most likely be a good local restart of his career but, unless he chooses to modernize and give in to the internet, he is likely to be restricted to Italy and continental Europe where he will continue to delight the fans of Caruso. But the chance of an internet-update and, hence, a more international reach, is always there ...