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Claudio Villa


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Claudio Villa: byname of Claudio Pica (1 January 1926 - Padova, February 7, 1987), born and living in the proletarian (now touristic) Trastevere quarter of Rome, in via della Lungara and via Angelo Tittoni, then with success moving to a via Folco Portinari flat, in the Monteverde nuovo middle class quarter.
He was an actor and Italian Tenor, who specialised in romantic-melodic “musica leggera”, reaching a sort of The Voice status in Italy as “il reuccio (della canzone)” - the small king, so called also because of his sanguine character. While Nilla Pizzi was the Queen.

But the baby-boomer generation disliked more and more his genre, style and virtuosisms (the long acute Grand Finale - e.g., notable in “Granada” -, bringing a stereotype operatic flavour into traditional pop or easy listening “musica leggera”). Sharp age divisions therefore emerged, so as to make music tastes become an identitarian, Weltanschaung space of generational divide, at the time of ‘50s rock (with Little Tony, Italy’s Elvis), then the ‘60s new pop (many thousands of cave bands, also in Italy). All this was not so specially Italian, of course; but, because of his so long career, Claudio became a target symbol (for the ritual “parricide”); he was gradually ghettoed into an ageing but always faithful audience (no empty space at his concerts). On the other hand, he basically sticked to his 1950s repertoire and style.
Together with Domenico Modugno, he holds the record for the most wins at the Sanremo Music Festival, where he won the competition in 1955 (Buongiorno tristezza), 1957 (Corde della mia chitarra), 1962 (Addio .


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