Monday, December 04, 2006

Interview with A Filetta's frontman Jean-Claude Acquaviva

Jean-Claude Acquaviva's charisma shines through his icy grey eyes that greet me on a beautiful Paris October morning. It emanates from his solemn, almost timeless voice, with which he has led 'A filetta' to the artistic heights of Corsican music. The very evening before I meet him, this 'a cappella' voice, together with those of the other group members, enchanted the audience at 'La Mediterranee des Musiques', in the auditorium of the Institut du Monde Arabe.

Never forget 'A filetta'

However, the Parisian venue was acoustically surpassed by the rural church in which I first heard 'A filetta'. ‘It's true,’ admits Acquaviva in easily understandable Corsican. ‘Concerts like the one at Rogliano (on the Corsican coast) allow us to keep a link with our homeland.’

Indeed, the group tries to keep the simplicity of 1978, when it was founded ‘by amateurs, mostly school teachers or priests. The then thirty-year-old Jean-Claude Acquaviva was already amongst them. ‘For our first trip abroad, to nearby Sardinia, we had to pay our own way.’ Then, in 1994, things began to change. ‘We were at a turning-point, either we continued as we were, or we could start to take it more seriously. We decided to go professional, motivated by the will to do it, and the help of the composer Bruno Coulet and director Jean-Yves Lazennac. We had one duty though - to stay true to our name.’
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