Cold and kitsch at Copia
Friday, August 23, 2002

By L. PIERCE CARSON
Napa Register Staff Writer

Braving bone-chilling night air that felt more like fall than summer, some 350 hearty souls huddled in Copia's grassy amphitheater Monday night for a night of Italian music.

Bella Ciao, a sextet anchored by accordionist Tom Torriglia, a founder of the once popular Those Darned Accordions, dished up a stufato of familiar and generally light Italian pop music.

From "Faniculi-Fanicula" to "Mambo Italiano," the repertoire provided ample occasions for sing-along as well as opportunities to trip the light fantastic.

More kitsch than capriccio, the musical menu allowed for six talented musicians to present a program appealing to a broad mix of listeners.

Singer Laura Lebleu, with the larger-than-life henna hairdo, provided the majority of the vocals, with accordionist Torriglia putting in his two vocal cents now and again. "That's Amore" and "Papa Loves Mambo" were delivered with as much zest and zeal as "Mozzarella, I Love Isabella" and "Beneath the Blue Italian Sky."

Angelino Sadri did outstanding double duty on mandolin and guitar, while Brian Novak-McSweeney wailed on the sax. The jolly rhythm section included bassist Mary Key Dash and drummer Jim Cahill.

From toe-tapping tarantella to the familiar musical interrogatory, "Quando, Quando, Quando?," Bella Ciao's debut at Copia was well received by an enthusiastic crowd.

Copia's outdoor concert season comes to a close on Monday, Aug. 26, with a reggae concert by Creation. For tickets, call 259-1600 or log online at www.copia.org.