“Ieri sera ho iniziato un corso di 20 settimane in lingua italiana presso l’Università
del Sussex” – or, in plain English, last night I started a twenty week course in Italian at Sussex University which is only a five minute train journey from my home in Lewes.
I have always loved Italy and Italian culture and can, as they say, “get by” in Italian whenever I go there but now I have decided to take this seriously and to try and become fluent in speaking, reading and writing Italian – wish me luck. “Wolfie buona fortuna!”
I had Italian lessons when I studied singing at the Royal Academy of Music in London a long time ago and I have always listened to Italian opera with a passion so I do have a weirdly melodramatic grasp on every day Italian even if a raise the odd smile with some of my phrases. It is amazing how far you can get with a basic working knowledge of the operas of Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi and Puccini. Now it is time to get a bit more down to earth. So far so good but it is going to be hard work.
Before then though, here are Luciano Pavarotti and Joan Sutherland in the love duet from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor but I shall try to loose some of my Australian-Italian accent learnt during my boyhood obsession for Sutherland’s opera recordings. Pavarotti, of course, sang it like a native.