Watch Sunday, December 4, 2016 at 5pm on WMHT-TV
Enrico Caruso was the world’s first international recording star, taking opera to the masses and bringing the street vibrancy of Neapolitan songs to the world. The first classical crossover artist, he blazed the way for Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, and other great international artists of the 21st century. Now, in his first public television special, Italian tenor Pasquale Esposito, born and raised in Caruso’s neighborhood, performs several of Caruso’s most famous songs and arias. Combining a stunning concert recorded live at the 13th century Castello Giusso on Italy’s Amalfi Coast with travel footage from Caruso’s Naples and Sorrento as well as the U.S., PASQUALE ESPOSITO CELEBRATES ENRICO CARUSO is part of special programming premiering on PBS stations.
Pasquale Esposito is joined on the stage by the sensational soprano Mayssa Karaa and the Orchestra di Santa Chiara, conducted by the world renowned Maestro Renato Serio. The intimate concert performance, which took place as the sun set over the Bay of Naples, includes “Torna a Surriento” and “O Sole Mio,” as well as the many songs and arias that, even to this day, the great Caruso made standards.
Born in Naples, Italy, Pasquale Esposito discovered the power of prayer and music and the divine impact they had on his community while performing in his church choir at the age of seven. In 1998, Pasquale immigrated to the United States after winning the Green Card Lottery. He settled in the San Francisco Bay Area and pursued his passion for music at San Jose State University’s School of Music under the skillful direction of world-renowned tenor, Professor Joseph Frank.
During his time at SJSU, Pasquale worked on several CDs and theatrical productions that showcased his talents as a tenor and contemporary crossover artist. Although a trained tenor, Pasquale has a wide repertoire that spans opera, Broadway, Italian/Neapolitan/American/Spanish standards as well as pop/opera. In 2005 and 2006, he toured throughout the U.S. and Italy to sold-out audiences with “Naples ... That’s Amore!,” an Italian musical revue that he produced and directed. In 2009, he released his fifth album, “A Brand New Me,” comprised of all original compositions, and graduated from SJSU. Following the release of that CD, Pasquale embarked on another well-received national and European tour from 2009-2010. Building on the success of “A Brand New Me,” Pasquale continued his artistic development and expanded into the classical genre. In 2009, he began to perform orchestral concerts focusing on the great opera arias and Neapolitan songs as well as many holiday benefit concerts. As a result of his contributions to the community, he was inspired to further give back by mentoring young students at the Notable Music Academy that he established in 2010. In 2012, he established the Notable Music and Arts Organization to promote music education both locally and globally.
In 2012, he continued to tour nationally and internationally, and released his sixth album, “Il Tempo,” a double CD that consists of both originals and standards from 1880 to the present, all arranged in his distinctive pop/opera style. Based on his success in spreading the Italian culture through music in the United States, he was invited to perform on RAI UNO’s Concerto dell’Epafania in 2012 and 2014.
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