Umberto del Giudice
Starting his singing activity already at the time of his school days, when he was chosen by the Maestro Luigi De Stasio for some recording sessions which would have later become a series of live shows at the Nato Base in Naples, from 1990 to 1993, covering a heterogeneous repertoire (Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Joni Mitchell, Supertramp). He studied at the Accademia Scarlatti in Naples, improving his singing skills under the aegis of the Contralto Daniela del Monaco. After five years spent in the U.S.A., while attending courses in Foreign Languages and Literatures and deepening his English diction, as well as his vocal technique in terms of singing at the Bloomingdale School (one-to-one courses in “voice craft” technique), he came back to Italy to start some collaborations with agencies and boards in the translation field. He kept up his singing lessons at the Accademia Ferraresi in Naples, while recording advertising jingles on behalf local radios and took part to many tribute concerts all over Italy such as the ones dedicated to Giuni Russo, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Elton John. For a short period of time he had been hired as a singer on cruise ships, attended courses in Theatre at the “La bottega dei manichini” and a Master in “English diction and pronunciation for singers” and eventually indulging in his own musical projects in terms of progressive pop/rock genre.
In 2005 the composer Filippo D’Eliso chose him to perform 6 songs, entrusting him to take care of the vocal arrangement for them (as well as the translations of any song lyrics which the audience would have followed on the screen), for the opening concert (called “Cover Gold”) happened on April 23th on the occasion of the 11th edition of “Maggio dei Monumenti”, that took place at the “Sala del Borsino” (inside the Chamber of Commerce in Naples) with the collaboration of the orchestra and choir of the “Teatro di San Carlo di Napoli”, in which the composer D’Eliso chronicles the music history without any boundary between musical genres, from Bizet to Piazzolla, through Elton John and Supertramp, creating a perfect harmony between classic and modern, where classic was depicted by the Mezzo Soprano Angela Prota’s voice. She herself pointed out during the pre-event press conference: “during his audition, I could not believe he was Italian; not only was I impressed by his English diction, but mainly by some vocal passages, legato and the glissato for instance, borrowed from the “Bel Canto”, but merged into an absolutely international interpretive strength: a fresh and balanced voice –though a non-classical trained one– capable of conveying infinite sweetness mainly thanks to a wise use of the falsetto and head voice, as well as strong and incisive on songs which require a wider and thicker timbre”. (source: Il Mattino)
Then he performed in several pubs and clubs all around the region of Latium being assisted by excellent musicians, even promoting his own original material alternating it with covers, all sung exclusively in English. He doesn’t scorn classics from the Neapolitan music: hence he takes part in a documentary film (“Naples, now and then”) by an independent french-american production about the Neapolitan music tradition, featuring scenes where he gave his renditions of the songs “I’ te vurria vasà”, “Santa Lucia Luntana” and “Voce ‘e notte”, shot around the historical districts of Naples.
From 2005 to present, through the Musilab Srl entertainment agency in Rome which is in charge of his live activities, he tries his hand at covering pop and rock songs and rearranging them from a symphonic point of view, with jazz contaminations along with, at times, a gospel feel, which was his first love. Recently a Michael Jackson tribute cd -available at the newsstand and featuring some emerging artists’ renditions- has been released: his cover versions of Michael Jackson’s “Man in the mirror” and “Remember the time” have been included.
He also does translations in literary-journalistic, musical and theatrical context on a regular basis on behalf public corporations, web sites and individuals.
His latest project is a concept tour, “Read me a song”, already “tried and tested” around the musical scene of Latium and hopefully the singer is willing to perform for a Neapolitan audience. The set list makes the difference: all songs were chosen for the beauty of their lyrics as in the case of “Hejira” (by Joni Mitchell) as well as “Ticking” (by Elton John) and “Soldier’s Things” (by Tom Waits) or rather “They won’t go when I go” (by Stevie Wonder). Whilst the setlist for the concert may result way too heterogeneous, all the songs, performed with a symphonic arrangement, do come together as if belonging to one music genre, giving them a common denominator: music is culture, historical knowledge and remembrance, conveying a universal message, no matter what style, rhythm or instrument you play..