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A magical ability to entrance an audience

Something different for my Fringe experience this year is Ce la faro which translates as “I’ve got this.” Songs in Italian from Elyssa Vulpes, Italian singer-songwriter based in Wellington.

Elyssa plays guitar and keyboards and sings, with stunning violin accompaniment from Devyn Fowles, and on one number, superb harmonica from Mike Blue.

I’m a big lyrics lover myself, but it is worth forgoing word for word understanding to hear these songs sung in Italian. It is testament to Vulpes’ talent that the songs connected and resonate with the audience even if they don’t understand them. She sings with a throaty warmth and depth of feeling that transcends literal meaning.

Before each song, she tells us what it will be about – these chats are entertaining in themselves. The piece of wisdom that really catches my imagination is the song about a fisherman – who goes to the river and selects which fish he will catch or keep; he doesn’t dive into the water. The river is the stream of our consciousness and the fish are our thoughts – a wonderful metaphor for overthinking!

Vulpes lists Leonard Cohen, Fabrizio de André and Martha Wainwright as influences. Three very different artists spanning 80 years of folk music, and with whom she shares that magical ability to entrance an audience.

The only thing about this show I don’t enjoy is it being a one off. I hope Vulpes brings it back soon.


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