Ciao to an Italian Christmas at the Lyric
November 20, 2015
Shelley Koppel/Your Voice News Staff Writer
STUART — When I called to speak with Franco Corso, he had just returned from a trip to his native Italy. The singer comes from San Remo and his big break came more than 15 years ago, in Italy, when he had the opportunity to open for one of his idols, Andrea Bocelli. The experience convinced Corso to come to the United States and bring the music of his homeland to Americans.
Corso will perform “My Italian Christmas” at the Lyric Theatre Dec. 5 for two shows. The Lyric favorite, who began singing in his church choir as a boy, has performed at the Eissey Theatre at Palm Beach State College, at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre and on tours to New York and the West Coast.
Corso spoke recently about his upcoming concert.
“It will be a collection of the classic Italian-American Christmas songs with a twist,” he said. “There will be new arrangements and different versions of the classic songs, like ‘O, Holy Night,’ ‘Silent Night,’ and ‘Jingle Bells.’ They will be performed half in Italian and half in English.”
Corso, who will appear with his three-piece band, loves the sounds of Christmas.
“Christmas is my favorite holiday,” he said. “It reminds me of when I was a little kid, back in Italy. We celebrated Christmas Eve with family and friends and had dinner after Midnight Mass. I remember sitting all together at the table for an Italian Christmas, eating specialties, cakes and homemade food.”
Santa or Pappo Natale, came down the chimney in Italy as he does in the United States.
“I stayed up all night on the 24th, trying to catch him,” Corso said. “In the end, I always fell asleep. My mother was good enough to put the presents out when I fell asleep at 4 or 5 a.m. They were there when I woke up.”
The upcoming concert is about more than the songs.
“It’s a tribute to the best holiday of the year,” he said. “It’s storytelling about Christmas in Italy, sharing traditions and the lifestyle during Christmas. The Lyric will set up Christmas settings and there will be a light show of some of the Christmas pictures of Italy.”
This is the first of two Lyric appearances for Corso this season. On Feb. 18, he will perform a Valentine’s concert called, “That’s Amore.”
“It will have the most romantic and passionate of love songs,” he said. “There will be songs from Dean Marin and Mario Lanza, songs like ‘Unchained Melody’ and ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love.’ We’re going to bring passionate love to the Lyric one more time.”
Franco Corso presents “My Italian Christmas” at the Lyric Theatre, 59 S.W. Flagler Ave., Stuart, Dec. 5 at 4 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $45. Call the box office at (772) 286-7827 or order online at www.lyrictheatre.com.