|Broomall's Joseph Soprani is in the NEWS again!|
June 11, 1997, we wrote a column about Joseph Soprani of Broomall, one of
America's top accordion virtuosos, whose outstanding credentials were outlined
in our NEWS of Delaware County. Since that time, his virtuosity has displayed
itself in so many more ways.
To begin with Joe Soprani, (Please don't confuse me with the Sopranos), performer, teacher, composer, with a master's in music and education, wrote the Rotary Song for the Upper Darby Rotary club, and it can be used by Rotary Clubs anywhere in the world. He also wrote his school song, and several ballads, including "Joanne," for his school teacher daughter, Joanne McDonald. And he wrote a timely tune entitled, "Is That Your Final Answer?"
In a more serious and classical vein, here is a brief scenario of Soprani's activities, since we last wrote about him. The wizard of the accordion, a member of ASCAP, Joe Soprani played and arranged accordion parts for the production of "Sherwood." played a concert for the Jewish Museum; performed in "La Taraviata" with the Philadelphia Opera company (this was the first time an accordion was used in this opera.) Displaying his musical versatility, Soprani arranged some hit tunes for the Bon Jovi rock band, for its scheduled world tour. He is arranging a major accordion concerto to be performed with a major symphony orchestra.
But most importantly, Joseph Soprani of Broomall, master of his instrument, just recently performed before a capacity crowd at Trump's Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. The occasion was the American debut of England's newest and most highly acclaimed operatic tenor, Russell Watson, who was introduced and sponsored by Donald Trump.
As you can imagine, on such an auspicious and important introduction, the accompanist had to be the best. And so, Soprani, having been recommended by five top musical sources, was chosen to work with Watson, who sang "Pelagia's Song," from the movie "Captain Corelli's Mandolin," soon to be released.
Watson, the young artist from Salford, England, sang in the Pavarotti vein. ("O Sole Mio," "Finiculi, Finicular," "Volare, Caruso," and "Va Pensiero"), and he captured the hearts of the over 3,000 in the audience. Backed by 75 of the finest musicians, including some from the Philadelphia Orchestra, and a chorus of 40 voices, Soprani also appeared with Lea Salonga, star of Broadway's "Miss Saigon," and recording star Natalie Cole, both of whom sang duets with Watson. The program was taped for Public Television, scheduled to run on Channel 12, Wednesday, September 12, at 8 p.m.
The ABC Television Network show "Good Morning America," Channel 6 in Philadelphia, wanted to introduce Watson to America. So on the night of Thursday, August 16th, the night before the program, the TV show sent a big, black limo, the size of a bowling alley, to Broomall, to pick up Joe Soprani. After an all-night rehearsal, they put him up in style at one of New York's finest hotels. You may have seen the show Friday morning, August 17 between 7 and 9 a.m. After all the festivities, they chauffeured Soprani back to Broomall in that same big, black limo.
For local Delaware Country people who have the Internet you may want to ready all about Joseph Soprani on his Web site, accoridons.com/soprani. Or you can look up the June 11, 1997 NEWS of Delaware County.
Commentary by Joe DeFeo
September 5, 2001