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Brisbane Entertainment Centre
September 20, 2004



Pre-concert activities

Firstly, the pre-show dinner was an exquisite dining experience; We
were escorted into the Backstage dining room which was illuminated with
soft lighting and the background music was Andrea's Romanza which played the whole duration of the dinner. The tables were beautifully decorated with pots of tulips and dotted with candles in small glass containers which gave the room a very romantic atomosphere. We had a delicious antipasto and this was followed by the most amazing sorbet made from lime and lemons...I have never tasted anything so delicious. For mains I had lamb cutlets encrusted with herbs with a slice of prociutto and mozzarella which had been slightly grilled over the top. This was accompanied by a mushroom risotto and surrounded by beautifully prepared vegetables...a real work of art it was. Anyway, I am sure you don't want to be bored by this mouth watering feast...haha... anyone's mouth watering yet? Now for the meat of the evening.

Oh, before I forget...in the dining room our programme was placed on our chairs along with the most exquisite black satin embroidered cushion with Andrea's tour etc. stitched into it...this we took into the concert with us. We also were given chocolates to take in.

The main event

Anyway the concert started slightly after 8.00, and first Hayley sang her three songs. She was lovely I have to say and was warmly embraced. Next was the Preludio from Carmen. Then on came our man looking fresh and handsome in his Armani, black shirt and black bow tie. The audience went wild. His first song was Aranjuez. He followed this immediately with Panis Angelicus and Schubert's Ave Maria (this replaced Di quella pira). Maria Luigia Borsi then sang O mio babbino caro...she was so much better live compared to the videos I have seen her in. Mascagni's Intermezzo next and then Andrea came back on for A Vucchella, La Serenata, and right here my memory is failing me because I can't remember whether he sang a third or it was Maria who sang Tu ca nun chiagne. Anyway next came E lucevan le stelle which brought the house down .. it was spine chilling and the audience was going mad after every song he sang. Someone yelled out from the higher seats something "...Andrea." I couldn't make out what it was but it brought a huge smile to his face. Everyone was shouting and whooping etc. Andrea and Maria followed with O soave fanculla which was so beautiful and with touching moments from both of them. That ended the first part.

The second part commenced with Tarantella from Rossini's Soirees Musicales and then Andrea came on and sang Mattinata, Marechiare. Maria sang Tu che m'hai preso il cuor which was very much appreciated by us all. Andrea followed that with Santa Lucia luntana and then Maria with O surdato 'nnammurato and Vilja's Lied which was truly beautiful. Farandole from Bizet's L'Arlessiene followed and then Andrea and Maria came back on for Lippen Schweigen which was a knockout and the crowd just went wild for this one. The interaction between the two was wonderfully touching to see. Andrea sang Torna a Surriento which also brought a roar from the audience. O sole mio was sung by both Andrea and Maria and it ended with the obligatory Brindisi which as we know meant the end of a wonderful evening.

After the flowers were presented Andrea came back on with his flute and we knew then he was going to sing Melodramma. Next the Prayer which was sung with such passion. Lastly, and then we knew it was all over, Andrea came back with the two girls and Hayley started off with CTP and then Andrea joined in and they all finished off the song. The audience went wild of course and we were all on our feet, the noise was unbelievable. When he did finally come back for the last time with the girls he spoke to us and firstly said to the audience "Thank you to be here." Then he thanked the wonderful Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Marcello Rota and finally introduced the girls, saying that it was very hard for him to be on stage with such wonderful ladies and introducing Hayley as "this angel." As soon as we saw that arm go up we knew that Andrea would be gone and this was confirmed when the orchestra started to leave the stage. It was all over too soon and I felt very sad that it had come to an end.

I have no idea what the critics have been on about over his performances...the audience was warmed up from the very start and the
fever pitch just seemed to build as the concert progressed. It was confirmation for me of Andrea's popularity and the love his fans have for this wonderful man. He did not put a note out of place the whole evening and he gave it his best. It was an unforgettable evening.

Post-concert reverie

We finally retired back to the dining room for more champagne and sumptuous cheese platters and dessert and coffee. Unfortunately Andrea did not join us which was a disappointment. However, for me the evening was complete and was a beautiful experience which I hope will be repeated soon again when he returns to Australia. He will return home with the certainty that here in Oz he has a huge fan base who absolutely love his wonderful gift.

So, that's it...now I have to return to normal life...but the spell has not broken.

Margaret Cholewa
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