FRANCO BATTIATOFrom the onset to the first experimental recordings of light music, cutting-edge electronics to the opera and sacred music, all this is summed up in the career of the man who is perhaps the most distinctive and eclectic Italian singer ever.
When the young Sinatra began to make inroads into the world of pop music in the late sixties, probably nobody could have imagined that the boy would be able to move from that genre so easy and immediate to the most unbridled experimentation and then change direction again, get to the big success with more easy-listening records and subsequently devote to classical music and opera.
Born in 1945 in Ionia, a village in the province of Catania, since the early seventies Franco Battiato actively involved in the current research and testing in Europe. His first recordings come out, between 1971 and ’75, for experimental label Bla Bla and bring original and evocative titles such as the now legendary “Fetus”, “Pollution”, “On the ropes of Aries”, “Click” and “Mademoiselle the Gladiator.” He then goes on to memories which releases little commercial impact of other albums like “Sinatra”, “Juke Box” and “Egypt before the sands”, containing an alienating piano piece that earned him the award even Stockhausen (takes the prize the name just caught from the tutelary deity of the vanguard).
However, the record sales of the Sicilian musician are at historic lows, which is why the Memories fires him. He takes charge of the EMI, and the investment could not be better. Battiato, in fact, abandon cerebralismi first manner and abandons the pop song-branded, even revisited in highbrow and never succumb to prevailing taste. In 1979, then publishes the album of “conversion,” that is intended to disorient the selected fan conquered with so much sacrifice, “The Era of the White Boar.” I like the fans, reluctant in the world of pop music, yet they had heard little from subsequent work, even more blatantly commercial. In 1980 it was the turn of “Patriots”, even moderate success but a year later came “His Master’s Voice”, the real miracle commercial Battiato signed. Some songs on the album do become a national case (who can forget phrases like “cuccurucucù paloma” or “center of gravity”, now become almost slogans?) While the album is parked at the top of the Italian charts for a year, selling over one million copies.
Later albums are: “Noah’s Ark” (1982), “Lost Horizon” (1983), “distant worlds” (1985), “Echoes of Sufi dances” (1985), repeating in part the success of “voice “without reaching those heights sensational. In 1985, meanwhile, the singer, eager to greater managerial autonomy, run in collaboration with Longanesi editions “The Eighth” and, in 1989, the eponymous record label dedicated to the music of “frontier”.
On the creative side, however, Sinatra once again changing the registry and stubborn in wanting to compose a work for the theater. Thus was born “Genesis,” which debuted at the Teatro Regio in Parma April 26, 1987, met with triumphant consent by the public but with a bit of skepticism on the part of insiders. For Emi still come out instead “Nomades”, “Physiognomy,” and the double live album “Redcoats.” In 1991 he recorded a more beautiful album titled singular, “Like a Camel in a gutter”, containing, in addition to the nineteenth-century lieder and original songs, the true manifesto on Italy today is “Povera Patria”. In addition, working on his second opera, “Gilgamesh”, which makes a successful debut at the Teatro dell ‘Opera di Roma June 5, 1992.
Following the tour of “Like a camel …” Battiato is accompanied by musicians of the caliber orchestra I Virtuosi Italian, Antonio Ballista pianist and violinist Giusto Pio. On December 4, 1992 with the Italian Virtuosi is in Baghdad, in concert with the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra. The aim is to bridge worlds as diverse as the Middle East and the West.
In October ’93 Battiato public, also for EMI, the collection of songs “Café de la Paix”, which is ranked the best album of the year in the referendum among the specialized press promoted by the magazine Music and Records; in the same period debuted the “Mass Archaic”, a composition for soloists, chorus and orchestra.
In September of ’94, commissioned by the Region of Sicily, for the eighth centenary of the birth of Frederick II of Swabia, is represented in the Cathedral of Palermo’s work “The Knight of the intellect”, with texts of the philosopher Manlio Sgalambro, his contributor to music and libretto by the author responsible for the other Sicilian “the umbrella and a sewing machine” (as well as numerous songs).
In the autumn of 96, with the record company Polygram, he released “The Ambush” containing, among other things, the song “Care” in which the singer is awarded the prize for best song of the year. In 97 following the return of Battiato arenas with a long and acclaimed tour. In September 1998 he released “shellac”, containing the hit single “Shock in my town”, an album that continues the musical discourse that began with “The Ambush”, further enriching it sounds harsh and angular. On 22 October 1999, he was instead released “Fleurs”, a collection of “Cover” much appreciated by critics. Recent work by Battiato are “magnetic fields”, released in 2000 and contains the music for the ballet commissioned by the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the album “Fleurs 3″, a continuation of the successful disc of interpretations. In 2003, however, the singer has also tried his hand at directing, filming the movie “Perdutoamor.”
In December 2004, made his debut as host of a cultural program in six episodes, which was also the curator: Bitte, keine réclame (“Please, no advertising”), which aired on the satellite channel Rai Doc
Take part in the Sanremo Festival 2011 Luca Madonia, accompanying with his song “The alien”.
In the fall of 2012 he released his new album “Open Sesame”; at the beginning of the month of November of the same year, he became commissioner of Tourism and Entertainment for Sicily.