Orietta Berti, the Emilian nightingale, has been delighting her fans for more than 50 years.
by Claudia Ferronato
Her amazing voice has been accompanying us since 1963, when she won the “Voci Nuove” competition at the Teatro Municipale in Reggio Emilia thanks to her interpretation of “Il cielo in un stanza” (a song sung by Mina in 1960.)
- What was your debut 45?
“Non ci sarò”. I owe so much to Giorgio Calabrese who noticed me during a competition for new singers in Reggio Emilia. I was a minor and he sent me to a guest house managed by nuns to persuade my mother to let me go to Milan. I became popular in 1964 thanks to The Singing Nun’s songs, like “Dominique”.
- Then you won “Un disco per l’estate”, a popular radio program!
Yes, I sang “Tu sei quello” and, in 1966, I participated in the Sanremo music festival and sang “Io ti darò di più” written by Memo Remigi. That was the beginning of a very long career full of songs, concerts, TV shows, awards and magazine covers. I interpreted beautiful Italian melodies that became popular all over the world.
- What are the qualities of a good singer?
First of all, an amazing voice with a remarkable range. Then, the cooperation with qualified professionals and the ability to see life.
- Today is there a singer who reminds you of yourself?
No, each singer has their own personality and reflects their own time and context, therefore it is impossible to make comparisons.
- You released a box containing the hits of your first 50 years of career. Now, what are you going to do?
In 2020, the second box will be released, on the occasion of the 55th anniversary from my debut on stage. I’m just selecting the tracks. Since the Eighties, I have been producing my own songs, therefore I take care of every production step. Moreover, this summer I’ll be on tour and later I will take part in some TV shows.
- Is there a song that you always like singing?
One of mi favourite song is “Quando l’amore diventa poesia”.
- Is the outfit important as well?
Yes, very much! Fortunately, today sponsors choose our dresses! Initially, I had to buy them and, besides the cost, it was not easy to choose.
- As regards the look, I would like to ask you one thing: can you tell us anything about your collection of waspie corsets?
Well, I don’t wear them; I just collect waspie corsets and nightgowns that look like evening dresses. As soon as I reach 90 items, I’ll stop, as happened with cloisonné holy water fonts.
- The letter O is recurring in your life!
It all started when I met my husband Osvaldo, his mother Odilla and grandfather Oreste, moreover, my mother is called Olga. I named my first son Omar after Omar Sharif. We also survived a car accident: we were listening to Otis Redding’s songs, so my second son is called Otis. Our pets are Otello and Olimpia (in addition to 9 cats and fish).
- Have you ever been to Jesolo?
I held a concert in Jesolo many years ago. I would like to go there once again. I really appreciate the affection of my fans.
- Baglioni, Fazio, Fabio Volo … you also accompanied the Måneskin in their van!
Yes, we went to Zurich, to the same club where I had been many years before as a guest star. The Swiss were moved by the Italian songs; I signed many autographs.
- Eventually, can you tell us about Masterchef?
I finished second but the competition was really hard! For 45 days we left the hotel at 8 a.m. and returned at midnight. I learned many things, but when I went back home, I refused to cook for 15 days! Today, however, I have prepared a tasty ragù with fresh sausage. We’ll eat it with egg tagliatelle or risotto; I’ll keep the remaining sauce in the fridge, so I can use it whenever I want!