Articles- 2000 and before
Please note: These are my own translation so there may be mistakes. You should also note that you shouldn't believe everything that is written in papers like that.
If there are broken links or if you have an article I would be glad if you'd send it to me:
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Articles Magazines 2006
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Articles Magazines 2004, December-July
Articles Magazines 2004, June-May
Articles Magazines 2004, April-January
Articles Magazines 2003-2002
Articles Magazines 2001-1995
Articles Magazines 1994
Articles Magazines 1993AndBefore
Articles 2002 and after
Articles 2002 and after- Original
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Articles 2000 and before- Original
resp. scanned articles or links given in the translated articles.
Polish articles (Translation needed)
12/22/00: Mysteries of Italy: Ylenia Carrisi
12/17/00: Festival di Sanremo: Also Morandi and Alice among the great competitors
12/05/00: Romina Power
11/13/00: Jackson loses plagiarism case (English original)
07/02/00: "My ideal man is a torero"
06/28/00: Romina Power, her first novel dedicated to daughter Ylenia
mu/du/00: Romina writer for Ylenia
06/23/00: Al Bano and Romina Power: Did the daughter simply run away?
06/07/00: The secrets of Romina
04/27/00: Romina Power: A good relationship with LSD
03/15/00: Romina Power: "I don't even have a trace of a man"
mu/du/00: Messenger of the UNO against drugs
mu/du/00: Per tutta la vita
mu/du/00: Al Bano: after Romina, I feel myself a man again
mu/du/00: "Wild Profiles"- Al Bano Carrisi
99/00 (?): Romina Power: Happiness? Yes, but without Al Bano!
99/00 (?): Al Bano: Goodbye Romina, I don't know you anymore
07/29/99: Romina alla romana
06/02/99: Is Ylenia Carrisi still alive? That is told by brother Yari.
03/10/99: Romina Power, flirt with Alain Elkann? "Famiglia Cristiana" intervenes.
03/05/99: Romina Power: "I wouldn't have given the news to the papers"
03/03/99: The letter of Al Bano
01/17/99: Romina Power denounces Verissimo
mu/du/99: Power: leave me in peace, I only want to disappear
mu/du/99: Romina Power wants to disappear: But from tonight on she's on TV
mu/du/99: Power: "The TV has helped me but I'd only want to disappear"
mu/du/99: Article on "Per tutta la vita"
mu/du/99: The singing wine grower
mu/du/99: Romina talks: "Mother, I always make you suffer"
mu/du/98: Cercando Mio Padre (Looking For My Father)
mu/du/98: Dear, fragile dad
mu/du/96: Interview 1996
mu/du/91: We hope that our love songs bring back serenity
04/04/94: Seeking Ylenia: Italy's Vanna White drops out of sight on a visit to America (English original)
mu/du/yu: Cristel and Mother Teresa
Mysteries of Italy: Ylenia Carrisi
Mysteries of Italy: Ylenia Carrisi (1)
The daughter of Al Bano and Romina Power, Ylenia, 24 years old, disappeared into thin air six years ago. Enzo Catania has reconstructed the personal story that starts in Cellino San Marco only to be violently interrupted along the Mississippi.
New Orleans, the city of the three "M": magical, mysterious, damned [maledetta in Italian, ed.]. Here on 6 January 1994 Ylenia Carrisi, daughter of Albano Carrisi (stage name Al Bano) and Romina Power, child of Tyrone Power and Linda Christian, disappeared.
Born on 26 July 1970, she celebrated her 24th birthday, as always, in the big rural home of the family in Cellino San Marco, Apulia. A coast guard sees the girl drown in the Mississippi, the "Grand River", the type of holy Ganges of the New World that floods through land acclaimed by the cinema, endless areas where the first railways were built, followed by the faces and costumes that had made the fortune of jazz music. During the spring or summer the river gives back the bodies even after three days. But it was January, the temperature two degrees Celsius: difficult for a corpse to decompose and come back to the surface. It could end up in the South, be pulled along to the Gulf of Mexico by the current, to then be thrown into a mass of water of 20000 tons a second. It could also never emerge anymore. But was this girl really Ylenia? Nobody can prove that.
"The wolf has swallowed her", the farmers of Cellino San Marco said. "Ylenia, our Maria Sole, she has been torn from the inside", grandmother Jolanda and grandfather Carmelo said. And a chain of solidarity and love flowed towards the quarter Curtipetrizzi, in that kind of "white mill" of 200 ha where Ylenia grew up, together with Yari, the second born, Cristel and Romina jr., called "Uga". Everyone felt very close to the drama of the Carrisis. Albano, born in 1943 in the via di Vittorio 22, become Al Bano on suggestion of a talent scout like Adriano Celentano, was one of them, he grew up with them.
And the morning of July 26, 1970, in the church of Santa Caterina where until the first hours of dawn crowds of women had taken in chairs and benches, crowding at one point to surround and tower above the altar so as not to lose only a second of the ceremony between the vip and famous faces, Romina hadn't only married a man but a whole area that had immediately adopted her. Until the variety of grapes and wines had begun to be called "Felicità", "Canaglia", "Nostalgia",… like the rhymes and songs of the couple. Here's why the people made the drama of the Carrisis their own. And the endless New Orleans presented itself very small, more or less behind the corner, a stone throw away from Cellino San Marco.
The wolf that had torn the beautiful and sweet Ylenia was now called America. But still in the morning of New Year's she talked on the phone with mother Romina, she seemed calm, said to have with her 2,5 million [lira, ed.] in traveler's checks. But now she was registered in the "Missing Persons Bureau". Rather than a name and a first name she became a number: 85.361. The police of Los Angeles alone worked on 7793 cases, 28 people disappearing per day, one per hour, 2050 of them minors, every time it was as if looking for a needle in a haystack. But had Ylenia disappeared "voluntarily" or "involuntarily"?
December 1 2000, 9:00
Mysteries of Italy: Ylenia Carrisi (2)
The plan of the police to find Ylenia starts. The investigations are entrusted to a detective of New Orleans, the city in which the girl was last seen. A jazz trumpeter is suspected.
Inspector Ronald Brink, called "Ronny", 49 years old, little red moustache and subtle, big glasses over the nose, of high respect, thought that it was impossible that a girl that spoke five languages fluently, passed from the faculty of Modern Literature in Lecce to the noble "King's College" in London, average of 28, could be lost because of difficulties with the surroundings.
And then Ylenia had taste, idolized the melodies of Toquinho, was passionate about the songs of Al Jarreu and of Sting and knew New Orleans (in the photo), bewitched by its colors and its rhythms. Unfortunately she saw only the million of beautiful sides of the "pearl of the deep South", neglecting the rest. Besides, how could a girl full of dreams know that there were about 440 murders every year, the highest rate in America? That the city was at the top of a ranking also in the number of prisoners? That among the over 600000 inhabitants was one of the most powerful Cosa Nostra clans? That the black magic and hundreds of other rites of every corner of the world had already given more troubles and disturbances to the police than an armada of guerillas? "If I must live in a city", writer Flannery O'Connor wrote, "I'd choose this one only because the existence of demons is widly recognized." In fact New Orleans had two souls: that of the commercials, of the harbor, industry, of the prosperous craft, above all of the feverish tourism of the thousand of gags (to start from jazz of "grandchildren" of the inimitable Louis Armstrong) and that of drugs, of disappearance, of crimes, of existence at the decline, of despair and of fear. "It was the second New Orleans that has taken Ylenia", inspector Brink thought.
The Carrisi couple, Al Bano and Romina, had already been in New Orleans in July 1993, recording a musical program for Canale 5. Title: "America perduta" ["Lost America"]. They had used the chance to take the rest of the family on holiday. Ylenia was immediately set on chase for people and curiosities for her book which she thought of at the time. Among others she got to know was Alaxander Masakela, called Alexander, white and long bearded, 54 years old, 1.65 tall, 60 kg, trumpeter, seducer of girls, reputation of a guru. He often played in front of Walgreen's & Schwegmann, a big drug store, with an adjacent department for anti-evil eye amulets and a mixture of magic. But often he was also seen in front of other shops on Jackson Square among people that literally had to invent every day to live, "homeless" people that spent the morning only walking around between the dustbins.
Ylenia had, after talking together many times, come to define Masakela as "my master", stressing that he had an "incredible charm" and that he opened "completely new intellectual horizons". When it came to depart she had asked the parents to leave her in New Orleans for some days. Uselessly Al Bano had tried to oppose, even shouting and swearing. There was nothing to do. Ylenia joined them again after just a few days, saying: "This man scared me. I've risked death." Maybe Masakela had tried to give her drugs? Maybe she had understood that if she had stayed in this atmosphere longer she'd even have risked her life?
These were the questions that tormented the brain of inspector Brink the msot. Above all there was to reconstruct where, having left New Orleans, Ylenia had gone and how, come back to New Orleans, she had reunited with the trumpeter.
December 5 2000, 9:00
Guatemala, Belize, alone and in company. Ylenia lives in New Orleans but tours the world. And discovers a passion for voodoo magic. That will tie her to the sect leader "rasta" Masakela.
The anecdotes on inspector Ronald Brink were part of the life of New Orleans itself. He had stepped over the door of the "Police Department" for 26 years, had the reputation to be hard and fanatic. "One that never gives up", said Walt Philbin, reporter of the Times Picayune. Even on Ylenia Carrisi the invited Italian newspapers and TV were more informed than his agents. In July, having left New Orleans, the girl stayed in Guatemala for a week, then reaching Belize, former British Honduras, by the sea of the antillas. Her destination was Dandriga. She was then on the way towards Hopkins, a village of fishermen, by boat.
Lisa Chandler, a 43 year old Californian that had left the comforts of the metropolis at the age of 8 to settle on this promontory of the earth, remembered Ylenia very well. She landed with three clothes saying: "I'll go back to Italy, talk with my parents and come back." In fact she went to Cellino San Marco and in September she was in Hopkins again. There was little she needed for living: 78 cent (about 218 lire) a day for rent of a hut 25 meters away from the beach, without bath, light, running water, electricity and kitchen. She immediately became friends with everyone. According to Chandler, "the only man that she remembered with pleasure was the musician Eric, a guitarist of David Bowie's group."
She spent her time looking at the sea, devouring pages of the Bible, going through again in her mind the songs that had inspired her most from "The New Think" by Edward De Bono. In her some kind of "spiritual" genesis happened. Often she painted symbols and images of the ideology voodoo. Maybe she had come to Belize, a land tied to rites of a centuries old tradition, just to deepen her knowledge. But her fantasy was above all oriented to the magic of positive influences. That's the reason for a black graffiti with a "loa", the rain giving snake. And here the "loa" with the corn, the generous goblin. Then a sun and a cross, synonyms of good health and cure. The walls of the hut are full of symbols.
Ylenia had also meetings, always for the purpose of writing the book. She couldn't flee from what many girls, old women and old people manufacture, the famous "puchinga" dolls made of bird feathers: it was enough to have them brought into a house of the enemy to provoke depression; it was enough to hide them under the mat of the entrance to determine death. The sweet Ylenia always tended more to white magic, that of the good. One morning she had announced that she'd left Belize the night of Christmas and had spent a week in Mexico to come back to Hopkins later. But on December 27, a Monday, she's in New Orleans and confiding in a friend: "I'm going through a terrible period. I feel confused and insecure. In July I've gotten to know a spiritual master. I want to speak to him." Do you want to think that the sweet Ylenia really thought she was able to save the "devil", the trumpeter Alexander Masakela?
Or maybe she wanted to confront the new rites experimented with in Belize with the theories of the guru?
December 8 2000, 9:00
She muddles through and spends the night in cheap hotels. Ylenia has made the motto of the beat generation her own: "On the road." And the relationship with Masakela becomes more deformed.
by Enzo Catania
Bad smelling masonry, plastic walls, 23 dollars per night, payment in advance. A true cave with a pretentious sign: "Hotel Lè Dale". On 30 December 1993 Ylenia Carrisi and the trumpeter took a matrimonial room, room B, because a double room wasn't available, but already one day after that they transferred into no. 7, two single beds. At signing the registry they've had a battle of words. Patti Eagle, an employee, told inspector Brink to have been hit by the gentility of the girl, having called her by name giving back the passport.
But Alexander Masakela intervened shouting at Ylenia because she had lied to him. It's clear then that the girl could have been fascinated by the enigmatic personality of the guru but, grown up old-fashioned and decent, she always stayed on the side of the living.
For six days an anonymous life, the usual routine: they went out at 12 in the morning and came back sometimes at 6.30, sometimes at midnight. Rasheed, a street saxophonist, remembers that "often the girl, surrounded with life, also was the assistant for Masakela", helping to raise money from the people passing by or to keep a lookout at the trumpet, when he went away for a beer. And then she followed him, "to have her brain stuffed with the usual esoteric themes..." They more or less always ate at the Humming Bird Restaurant in front of the hotel: he rice with two scrambled eggs, she hardly touched the food, sitting there with her eyes down, as if she was in the grip of some hallucinogen. "The bill", Cyndee, owner of the hotel, says, "was paid day by day by Masakela, with 50 or 100 dollar notes that she gave him. And he kept the rest."
Maybe they became lovers? Inspector Brink assured that at no occasion they had behaved as if they were in love: never a hug, a kiss, hands touching. "When the Italian girl", Cyndee said, "asked us insistently for a room with two beds he made a public theatre. He shouted: 'I want a matrimonial bed, ugly bitch.' But she cut it off." And Marck Beck, an occasional acquaintance, added: "I'm very certain: between the two there was only friendship." But according to saxophonist Rasheed, "Ylenia was completely hypnotized. This could have made her dependent, achieved with drugs, to make her her own shadow". On why she had followed him to an ugly place like this, inspector Brink gave an explanation: Ylenia idolized Jack Kerouac, singer of hitch-hiking and of life in the street, acclaimed writer of provocation of petty bourgeoisie and jet-society. Altogether, better the risk of a life of grind than of the stupidity of conformist life. These decadent rooms that cried for a painter, these metallic wastebins in the corridors, could have appeared closer to the thirst for experiences and Kerouac's "truth" than many residences of VIPs.
Ylenia Carrisi stayed in the "Hotel Lè Dale" until January 6, the day of Epiphany. "I'll go away for a couple of days, no, I'll return this evening", she said at the reception. Instead of a shower she had, for the first time since she had come, taken a bath. They didn't see her anymore...
December 12 2000, 9:00
Al Bano and Romina set themselves on the trail of the disappeared daughter. They visit the abysses of New Orleans in which Ylenia had stayed for a long time and also got to know Masakela.
by Enzo Catania
It was Yari Carrisi, educated and kind manners, strong similarity with the father, to search for the sister first. In London he had gotten a phone call from Al Bano: "We haven't heard of Ylenia, it's better to make a short trip to Louisiana." Knowing the sister could get aquainted with everyone and everything with great ease, noticed that she really hadn't reached Los Angeles, Yari returned to England to his studies of music, philosophy and photography. But he had just landed in London when Al Bano called again: "We are very worried..." Because of that he's back again in Los Angeles on 26 January 1994, mum and dad arriving at the "Hotel Meridien" on the 30th.
Al Bano and Romina immediately had the impression to move in a forest of darkness and hell. And they transformed themselves against their will, from the "homely" parents and Italian musical duo into the "navigators" of New Orleans' underground. But what wouldn't they have done for their daughter? In Autoritratto dalla A alla R, written at four hands in 1991, Romina confided: "When Ylenia was born she had black hair and blue eyes. Now she's blonde and has green eyes... She is very similar to me, because of the stubborness, the rebellion against rules, the unexplainable outbreaks..." Al Bano noticed: "I try to help my children as much as I can, until the point of clashing with them when it's necessary. It happened more often with Ylenia because she doesn't know (or pretends not to know) that life is a totally uphill course. She's taken very much of the Dutch branch of my mother-in-law Linda... But I like her diversity: she's taken by culture, thoughts... It's a continuing contest... We are two different worlds. But I can wait. I pay attention to not suppress her. Maybe she's a genius that I haven't discovered yet." Altogether great love for each other and a lot of appreciation but divergence of views, very normal between parents and children of different generations.
"What a horrible place, what hopelessness", Al Bano said while visiting the hotel where Ylenia had stayed. And certainly it was he who wanted to see the trumpeter Alexander Masakela, maybe in an attempt to snatch some precise information from him. In the end he felt like exploding in a feeling of hate and bile that he had never felt. "For the first time", he admitted, "I believed I had to kill someone. God held my hands but I felt this. This damned soul is the cause of it all. And then how many lies! He had started to claim to have known Ylenia only for some hours." But with his influence it was since the summer that he followed her, staying alone in the same hotel until January 14, even trying to pay the bill with traveler's checks of his daughter. "We refused to accept them", swears the owner to inspector Brink. "Then on the 18th the police came, confiscating the baggage and asking a lot of questions. But about this girl we can only say good things." And Masakela? "In the week in which we were together", he supported with displayed naturalness, "I played the trumpet at the corners of Bourbon Street, she went around to collect material for her book. When she didn't appear in the hotel again in the evening of January 6, I must be honest: it didn't alarm me very much... And then I'm convinced that Ylenia is alive."
December 15 2000, 9:00
The Carrisis ask policemen, private detectives and even mediums. But Ylenia isn't found. And so in February 1994, without hope, Al Bano and Romina leave New Orleans and return to Italy.
by Enzo Catania
The trumpeter Alexander Masakela, besides being in possess of the traveler's checks, was found with other things of Ylenia, including her bag and a photo camera. Here's why Al Bano and Romina expected that he'd be arrested at least. But when the guru really ended up in prison on 31 January 1994, stopped one night while he went through the French quarter, he owed it to the complaint of his ex-fiancée Helene Washington, seven months pregnant: she swore to having been raped. A welcome complaint for two reasons: on the one hand it permitted the police to hide the real inefficiencies in a huge city like New Orleans, on the other it permitted to hold Masakela under arrest for this story of the Italian girl that had mobilized international public opinion, alerted swarms of reports above all by [mitomani ?] that swore to have seen her in some place, spurred on by rewards.
"Rape under the influence of drugs" said the arrest warrant for Masakela. During the trial he saw the entrance of judge Gerard Hansen into the courtroom while he yawned bored, next to him there were 10 other defendants, all black except four. For everyone the judge set a bail. When it came to the trumpeter's time he sentenced: 50000 dollars. To get back to liberty immediately he would have to transfer 6000. Masakela made a grimace: "I've got empty pockets." So he stayed in prison. But he could return to his trumpet already on February 19, also because the investigations on Ylenia had not lead to substantially new suspicions on his account. "She's alive", Masakela continued to swear, "and one like her, so full of life, would never throw herself into the Mississippi.
Alive, but where? Voices were around that Ylenia could have gone to Florida to a hippy meeting. Grandmother Linda Christian manifested the idea that her grandchild could have taken drugs "against her own will". In Turin, among the "Mystery" stands, the fair of the "fantastic" and the "prophetic", the major part of experts kept these theses: Ylenia "isn't dead", "isn't in the water", "isn't ill", "hasn't taken drugs", "is hidden with a man", "will be found in three or four weeks." But no! In New Orleans the Carrisis continued to keep close contact with police and private detectives, even asked a medium, the media and writers of the underground. "This story seems like a film and the end is known by this trumpeter named Alexander", Romina proclaimed more than once. Then on February 18 they decided to come back to Italy again, after a short stop in Switzerland, guests of friends. "Don't say that here the curtain is closed. We'll continue the researches on our daughter", Al Bano said.
On March 2 Edward De Bono, the author of "The New Think" started an appeal: "I want Ylenia to tell me if my book really has contributed to ruin her as some imply. I understand the anger and the pain of the parents and I'm close to them but frankly I exclude that the disappearance has something to do with a script that didn't have anything to do with mystical or hypnotical practices." But also the appeal of De Bono stayed without answer.
December 18 2000, 9:00
Was she kidnapped, has she drowned in the Mississippi or is she still alive? In six years of research the mystery of Ylenia's end has stayed in the dark. The suspicions of mother Romina and the detailed report of the police.
by Enzo Catania
"A crime sooner or later finds its key but this remains an area overgrown with juniper", sentenced inspector Ronald Brink. The trace that Ylenia could have joined a hippy group in Florida was revealed to be made up, but in the core still no decisive circumstantial evidence.
But because there wasn't even half of a cadaver it became even human and natural to understand Romina who continued to confide in her feelings as a mother: "I believe that she was kidnapped for motives that aren't clear yet." But if the kidnapping was to get money, how come there never was a request for ransom?
There was another possibility that Brink refused to confirm but that he couldn't exclude either: the white slave trade. Why not suspect, in fact, that Ylenia, in the constant research for details on the condition of the blacks, always for her book, couldn't have been walking into a trap that then lead to losing her? She could also have become the hostage of someone that hadn't let her go anymore or that maybe had killed her, out of fear she'd talk. "But what if", inspector Brink answered again, "the disappearance was born out of a precise choice, always with the goal to feel new emotions?" The same Mississippi, the "Old Man river" celebrated by Mark Twain in the invocation of the mythical era of the vapor ships among regional magic that one day inspired also Ernest Hemingway, provided alibis and hiding places to everyone that looked for it. And then was it really so difficult to disappear from the American soil? Dian Fossey, American biologist, had even managed to disappear into thin air in the African forest of Rwanda to live with gorillas. "Our archives", Brink still thought, "are full of young people that disappeared into nothing or ended badly but also reappeared out of nothing, 10, 20 years later." To this hypothesis, in effect, also the Carrisis are attached.
"I wish for her to be in some part of the world, maybe on an island, where she had always dreamt to flee to", said brother Yari. And mother Romina: "Until the events don't show what Ylenia's fate really is I'll cling to my suspicions. That Ylenia is alive, in whatever part of the world."
Days, months, years: but never a trace. On the contrary, among the motives for the separation between Al Bano and Romina, maybe also the climate of this now insurmountable emptiness was an influence? Certainly, from March 1994 to today, that is already two months after Ylenia's disappearance, the story found its milestone, consolidated by time, in the protocol of lieutenant Sam Fardella of the New Orleans Police Department. "Miss Carrisi", Fardella said literally to the archivist, "still remains a missing person. And so the investigations to find her will continue at full speed. We'll follow all traces, will analyze all tips we get. We aren't in the position to claim with certainty that Ylenia Carrisi has drowned in the Mississippi. The police doesn't take anything for granted. The research on missing persons is a type of very delicate investigation where you need to take in consideration every believable hypothesis and use it in the best way possible to open new traces that the investigators can follow." Is this bureaucratic language to put up a tombstone or to leave a glimmer of hope without deadlines?
December 22 2000, 9:00
Festival di Sanremo: Also Morandi and Alice among the great competitors
Great excluded Al Bano that confesses "I'll watch on TV". And now I expect the list of guests
Rome, December 17- Among the big exclusions and unexpected confirmations these names of great participants of the 50th Festival: Alice, Samuele Bersani, Carmen Consoli, Gigi D'Alessio, Max Gazzè, Irene Grandi, Marco Masini, Gianni Morandi, Matia Bazar, Mietta; Amedeo Minghi together with Mariella Nava, Piccola Orchestra Avion travel, Ivana Spagna, Subsonica, Umberto Tozzi, Gerardina Trovato.
But in the 50th edition the Festival di Sanremo leaves a big support at home: 13 participations and a victory (in 1984 with "Ci sarà" together with Romina Power) weren't sufficient for Al Bano Carrisi to be accepted by the artistic commission.
"It was the first time that I was excluded- Al Bano explains- and I can't tell that I'm satisfied. I knew that I'd be excluded, someone from the commission had phoned me to announce it. I don't make polemics, evidently the piece wasn't liked: I've always defended the Festival also that which will be without me." Al Bano had presented "Finchè vivrò", a song written by Dario Baldan Bembo: "It's a pity- he says- because the piece was really wonderful that I had preferred to one of my songs entitled "I giorni senza Dio" that I had written just a year ago and that is very personal but hardly fitting to the climate of the Festival. I understand that the commission has its requirements, has chosen the songs, a certain type of songs, and less the artists: an attitude that I share and that is excusable. More than that, to be sincere, the demo recording that I had prepared wasn't so great, on the contrary I'd say that it was a "little demo"."
Al Bano confesses that he'll follow the edition of 2000 on TV: "I'll certainly watch it- he says- also if it will make a certain effect not to be there this year. But even if the Festival started in 1951 the true 50 years will be made in 2001 and then I hope to be there. If they'd invite me as guest? For alms I'd never go. I am consequent with my ideas: Sanremo is wonderful and makes sense if there's a competition, if not better do another thing. Wants to say that in February I'll rest a bit."
[Rest not that important]
She got to know Al Bano on the set of the film "Il Sole". For him she left her boyfriend Stanislao Klosswski, son of Baltus, choirmaster of rites and oriental philosophies. "He told me about alchemy- she said- but Al Bano made me get to know the concreteness of life. When I got to know him I didn't understand that he was the right man though. I had to study him for a long time... I saw how he dressed... And he dressed in a way that made me sick. However the outside wasn't important for me, I looked at the soul... At the end of the film I understood that I loved him already."
December 5 2000, 09:00
"My ideal man is a torero"
Sunday, 2 July 2000
"My ideal man is a torero"
Romina: I love the elegance and the pride
She arrives very punctually, dressed in green, with her moped, a helmet on her head, accompanied by her loyal agent. Romina Power is smiling very much and is of good humor in these summer days: "Until now 2000 seems to be a happy year for me. But let's knock on wood."
Bompiani publishes your first novel "Ho sognato Don Chisciotte". Why have you decided to write a book?
"I've had the idea since I was 12 years old that I wanted to write a novel and finally I started four years ago in India."
The story told in the novel is playing in Spain, why this decision?
"I wanted a place where there are challenges. In Spain every day a challenge for a man with death can happen: during the bull fights."
Actually one of her protagonists is a torero, with a very beautiful body.
"I like the elegance and the pride of toreros."
Did you ever fall in love with one of them?
"Only in the one in my novel, because in reality he doesn't exist, it's a physically ideal man."
How is a physically ideal man?
Brave, juvenile, a species of the personified Adonis. In Spain they call "torero" simply some lending man by the way."
In the book one of the protagonists is a writer, always tied to his computer. If you didn't fall in love with a torero then do you fall in love with a writer?
"Yes, I'm in love with his mind and the images that appear on his screen, but in reality the images that will happen in life will appear so that the words appear on the computer. Reality and fiction catch themselves for the whole duration of the novel until the end in which they overlap themselves."
According to you, the perfect man with body and mind doesn't exist?
"He could exist, but I haven't met him yet. And Ingrid and Rachael, two protagonists in the novel, did neither. I haven't lost hope however."
How must this ideal man be for you?
"I don't look for a man yet. When it happens to me that I meet him I hope that I know to recognize him and that enough time can pass with him before I get older. But it will be very hard."
Are the women to choose the men or the men to choose the women?
"I don't believe there's a precise rule. I depends on the cases."
Besides a television program, for now you have changed your life. You live in Rome, paint, write, live alone with your dog... And how are you?
Do you miss the life with a companion?
"That's not a sentimental question but a practical one. I didn't live to make everything alone: from the taxes to the bills to the booking of flights..."
Do you consider yourself a very spoiled woman?
"More caressed than spoiled. I lived like a princess in a hermitage. Now I feel that I belong to a group of people that must face the hard and dull everyday life, where I feel a certain creeping chauvinism that I hadn't noticed before. When you have a man near you the respect increases automatically, maybe feigned, but a lonely woman must conquer this. Every day, when I ride my scooter and I put on my helmet, I feel like I'd go into a battle."
Every day a battle. Do you prefer this type of more difficult life?
"This is a question for eternity, to that there's no answer."
It's said of you that you would go on to dream of deserted beaches, hermitages. How will you make it with your daughters that are going to live with you in Rome, in Trastevere, and will be going to school?
"I will postpone my dream until I will "retire"."
The first rest is the one of the summer holidays. Where will you spend it?
"In Arizona, "land of dreams and chimeras". I go to meet my American family, my brother, my sister..."
You're very bound to your family, your siblings...
"Yes. We are the only ones left of the family Power. My father's sister, to whom I was very bound, died last year. She was a painter, lived in a part of Florida."
What makes you be a writer?
"I believe that everyone writes to give sense to his own solitude."
What do the two women in your novel look for?
"Ingrid chases after maternity that she didn't get to know yet and Rachael chases after liberty. In all cases the things would go, what remains undestroyable is the sense of friendship. The agreement on loyalty that they made from childhood on."
People say that women never are real friends, that there's always rivalry...
"That's not true. In the case of Ingrid and Rachael no man will be able to disturb their friendship and the things that happen in the novel show that."
But the novel isn't life...
"In life there was always loyalty in my friendships and the story in my book respects this way of being, my thinking. I believe that there is more fidelity in a friendship than in love, maybe because there's no sex."
Often friendship gets threatened by a feeling of jealousy.
"That mustn't exist in a friendship, and maybe it mustn't exist in true love. But unfortunately it comes up in love often. In conclusion, jealousy must be very very very small..."
Were you never jealous?
"Unfortunately sometimes yes, but I hate to be jealous. Because of that I've sewed a key case on my rucksack with the writing on it: "I'm so extraordinary that I'm jealous of myself." This jealousy is an unpleasant feeling because it is a suffering and I hate to suffer. I remember during the program "Per tutta la vita": some men were so jealous that they didn't want that the ballet dancer would come too close to their fiancée. Maybe in these couples the men were more jealous than the women."
Do you make the men jealous?
"It's not my biggest aspiration, but it happens to me and I feel a sense of disturbance. But I don't provoke this feeling with intension."
It's also said of you that you're a very uncertain person. Is it true?
"More than uncertain I'm more or less always indecisive, because I consider continually the pros and cons of every situation and I "avoid" a rash decision. I'm indecisive but certain of myself."
Also as artist?
"I'm extremely certain of myself, but also extremely self-critical. As an actress, for example, I'm dependent on the director and I'm in big need of lessons and confirmations from the side of the director, but I can be an optimal mirror."
You've talked about directors, do you want to say that you will shoot a film soon?
"Maybe, but I keep my fingers crossed."
Doesn't it seem to you that you are busy with too many things?
"No, because I make one after another."
Now are you happy in your new house and your new terrace in Trastevere, or do you have nostalgia for Cellino San Marco?
"I feel nostalgia for the rooms in Cellino. But the people in Trastevere have taken me as one of theirs, and even when I'm alone I don't feel alone. Because Trastevere takes you like a village in a center of a city. The Romans there are really exceptional. Their philosophy helps me a little. The workers, for example, give half of their food to my dog. I say: "But he has his own food", and they respond: "You have to get used to it if a war comes." They are brave people, old-fashioned, certain of themselves."
Romina Power, her first novel dedicated to daughter Ylenia
The first novel by singer Romina Power "Ho Sognato Don Chisciotte", a fantasy work, is just published for the publishing house Bompiani. "A work done with seriousity and passion and as that it has to be read", writes Rossella Martina in "Giorno". Because it anticipates the plot and some passages of the story in it show, well, what do you know, in any case obviously autobiographic traces. The book is in addition dedicated to Ylenia Carrisi, disappeared in 1994.
Romina writer for Ylenia
Milan- "I dedicate my first novel to the better author of the family: my daughter Ylenia." And in the blurb of the cover you read: "Romina Power, actress, singer, TV conductor, painter, writer. Born in Los Angeles, California, lives in Rome. Is separated. Has four children and a dog."
Note: has four children. How do you say one child isn't there anymore? Had, has had? This presence seems to communicate the certainty that Ylenia isn't dead or in all cases, in some place of the world or of the universe, still exists. Romina writes on page 126 of her novel: "Love that lasts a life is really the strongest feeling or isn't maybe this more infinite that binds a living and a dead?"
In every way these indications are directed to people and facts that really happened in the life of Romina Power. Besides that her book "Ho sognato Don Chisciotte" ["I've dreamt of Don Chisciotte"], just published by Bompiani, wants to be a fantasy work, a literary production, a work made with seriousity and passion and that should be read as this. These will be disappointed that hope to find the experienced pain in Cellino San Marco, the tears because of the unsolved disappearance of the first born, the arguments and the break with Al Bano. But if Romina is looking stubbornly to escape her bulky past, setting up a present made of pictures, exhibitions, poetry, novels, it's true but not only her personality but also the reading of the book force to suspect feelings, fears, emotions that were experienced by the author in reality.
Then we try to "play" with the text helping ourselves also with the films of Tyrone Power (that we'll show in italics), a figure that is placed in the center of the novel like a mainstay around whom the words, fantasies, truths and hopes circle diluted in liquid crystals of a computer.
From a young writer in search of a story that sees the personalities that will be animated pass on the screen of her laptop. But are the personalities real or fruits of her fantasy? Is the story already written or can it be changed? We don't know and it doesn't interest really.
In the center of the story are Ingrid and Rachel, the blond and the dark-haired: one melancholic and fragile, the other serene and resolute; one single, the other married with children and bored of family life.
Two women in contrast to each other that travel, bound together by a big and old friendship (one has spoken of a homosexual relationship: an evident superficial nonsense). Ingrid and Rachel seem the two souls of Romina herself (and if you want: these two initials, the I that in Italian is pronounced like the Y and the R...).
The voyage of the two women has the tomb of Ingrid's father as the destination, died in Spain when she was a child, just as it was with Tyrone Power during the work on a film in 1958. When Romina was seven years old. And Ingrid's mother is the copy of the young Linda Christian: far away, careless, she leaves the daughter in college to chase her world and her loves.
But Spain is also evidently blood and sand, and in fact the other protagonist of the novel is a young torero. Also he, as the one played by Tyrone in 1941, will lose himself to a woman, Rachel. Also if she, fascinated by the sensuality of Juan, will renounce to betray her husband to offer "the perfect incarnation of love" to the friend. With a trick. A mask. This of Zorro defeated by Eros.
A magic that maybe will give Ingrid this child (this daughter) that was not there but that continues to appear in her dreams. Or that will permit the woman- maybe the same that 30 years ago had met an Apulian singer while shooting together Nel sole- to change her own fate, convincing that, though all, the sun will rise again.
by Rossella Martina
Al Bano and Romina Power: Did the daughter simply run away?
VENICE- For seven years Al Bano and Romina Power are looking for their oldest daughter- and the disappearing of Ylenia (29) becomes more and more mysterious: Allegedly the girl is in Austria and Northern Italy, reported "Frau im Spiegel".
Did Ylenia flee from the at that time so celebrated family happiness of the (in the meantime divorced) couple of singers? The searches of the Italian reporter Roberto Fiasconaro permit this conclusion. He pretends to have met Ylenia- after a tip- at the station Santa Lucia in Venice. She looked more stout and untidy than once. Fiasconaro addressed her: Are you Ylenia? "First she said yes, then no and then she fled into the darkness besides a track," the Italian reports.
His request to Al Bano and Romina Power to identify the girl in the photo stayed unheard. But there's still Linda Christian, mother of Romina. Her life companion Gianni Dei says: "Ylenia lives." She'd live not at all far away- in Austria. "She wanted to be completely away from her family, live freely."
The secrets of Romina
by Cesare Lanza
Romina, excuse me: at the moment to start this talk I have to confess to you and the readers a bit of trouble.
After so much time you have decided to talk about yourself. But it's known that you detest journalists and intermissions into you privacy. In my turn I want to ask some questions that can hurt your desire for distance.
The problem is that your life is characterized by the tragedy that all know, the disappearance of your daughter Ylenia and the unexpected break-up of the marriage with Al Bano. Also in this case the rumor was enormous because it was about the most stable and assuring marriage that you'd know in the show business
Romina Power, on the terrace of her Roman house in Trastevere, breaths and responds with an educated, melancholic look.
"Ask me the questions that you think of and, if I won't like them or if I'll feel offended, I won't respond."
Let's start from far away then. As a young girl in Rome, daughter of Tyrone Power and Linda Christian, famous actors in Hollywood and in the world, that fell in love with Al Bano, a singer from the Italian province and follows full of drive and without distrust to Cellino San Marco, into the deep South in the 60s. But how was it possible?
"Before coming to the marriage, you have passed some important parts."
Tell me, Romina.
"My father died when I was 7 years old. From the United States I ended to live with a grandmother in Mexico, then in the colleges with the nuns, then with the mother, when I was in the fifth grade of elementary school, more or less at the age of 9, I found myself again in Rome, in an Italian school. Only think of the change of the language to value the difficulty: in two years, to study, I passed from English to Spanish to Italian."
Why did you come to Italy?
"My mother and her companion, Edmund Purdom, a man loving classical music very much, like it. A positive man, with precise values: the work above all. And of culture and Anglo-Saxon passions. So, after two years, I found myself in another college, in England, in Kent."
A tormented childhood.
"I have nice memories of England. In college many things were done besides studying: decoration, judo, athletics… And friendships were born that were consolidated and have stayed until today: the English aren't unstable like the Latinos, they are stable and constant in the loves."
How do you consider the relationships with your parents?
"My father is fundamental for my life. I feel myself similar to him and his roots, Irish and French."
But Tyrone Power died when you were a girl. How do you explain then this strong bond? With the memories?
"No. I don't remember anything, absolutely nothing, of him. And maybe this explains my long meticulous research: all my life I have tried to reconstruct everything that concerned him. Interviewing (and envying) those that knew him."
But you don't remember anything.
"Maybe it was a repression. They tell me that I have repressed the memories in order not to suffer. And they tell me that I could get it again with hypnosis. But I'm afraid to confront it. The dreams are enough for me: I have reconstructed the figure of my father through dreams."
And how is you father in your dreams?
"He's always assuring, patient. Good. Sensitive. He comforts me, tells me that everything is alright."
A sweet way to sleep in.
"No, it's a sweet thought with which to wake up. In the morning when in the night I have dreamed of him, this thought gives me faith. It companies me for the whole day. I note what has happened, I read it again, I reflect it. They're thoughts that give me energy. They fill me again. They give me a sense of affiliation."
Your father is at first place in your life?
"He, yes. And my children."
And your mother, Linda Christian?
"It's a more burred picture. Now I feel tenderness for her. I have forgiven her. At my age you understand the importance of forgiving."
What did you accuse her of?
"The absence. But today I understand her point of view more. I look for compassion."
But what was the resentment?
"I couldn't forgive her the separation from my father. Died of an infarct, very young, at the age of 44. I accused her, unconsciously. To die at the age of 44… It seemed unjust. Now, sometimes, I surprise myself to have passed the age at which he died, it's a strange feeling to think to have experienced more than him."
Let's go back to Rome and another early experience, the debut in cinema, in a film with Tognazzi.
"Many people said that my engagement depended on my famous surname. But I was a casual cast of De Laurentis: nobody knew who I was. I thought of a temporary thing but, as we know, it didn't go that way."
Let's come back to the marriage with Al Bano, gotten to know when you were 16 years old. Can we dare a hypothesis? After so much wandering around, and also a big pain, the wish for a home, a stable family.
"In reality I felt pressurized in Rome. There in Apulia there was peace, harmony. Many things reminded me of California."
But if, today, you had to make a balance? Al Bano has said: 26 years of paradise and five in hell.
"Stop. I hate to make balances. And confrontations."
Allow me to say that your look has become still more melancholic than it used to.
She smiles: "Touches of melancholy are usual for the sign of the Libra. I am born on October 2, the same day as Gandhi."
And what do you want to say?
"Spirituality, I hope. Ability to meditate."
Let's come back to the singer Al Bano: was it your first significant love?
"No. Before I had had a long story with Stash, the son of Balthus, the famous painter. In this era I was 15 years old and he 24. We fell in love immediately, in the first evening."
Balthus is a master of the erotic painting... Was Stash similar to him? How long did it last?
"We have seen two years together. Stash wasn't similar to his father. He's quiet, lovely, original. He makes not-commercial films. He's got talent, without ambitions: he draws and constructs a car but to make only one. He's also an alchemist. An idealist, a dreamer."
Now your look, Romina, has lightened. Balthus jr. must be important for you. Has he been near you in difficult moments?
"I have always frequented him. And never a recrimination, also if it was me to leave him. An open man, attentive, always present in my life."
The thought flows to Al Bano. How is the relationship with him now, after a bond that lasted for 31 years?
"I wouldn't talk about it. I don't want to talk about it. It's too fresh, a painful memory."
Al Bano says that the beginning of the end was in the consequence of the drama about the disappearance of Ylenia.
"It isn't that way. Things changed gradually: they go away. There's never one precise reason only."
If you have broken a marriage that lasted for so many years do you want to say that there was something, on your side, that you didn't like anymore of your husband..."
Sorry. Something that you didn't like anymore about your ex-husband, something that wasn't bearable and supportable anymore, and the other way round.
"I prefer not to talk about it."
I want to ask you, at least: who has left whom?
"It doesn't seem important to me."
Altogether: he has even made the report, he has written a public letter.
How would you talk about your husband, with a friend, and in a few words, if this friend wouldn't know anything about you, if you weren't public people, exposed to reflectors?
"He's certainly a strong man. A persistent man. He has taught me a lot, for example to stay on stage, to win over shyness. He has given me four wonderful children."
"Never." She rebels: "I don't believe that the people are interested in these things. In all cases the interest isn't just. It's as if you look through, I'm sorry, a keyhole. I don't want to be remembered for these things when I won't be there anymore."
How do you want to be remembered?
"For my writings. For my paintings. I'd want that my spirit would live through important things, not the gossip on my private life."
In particular, what would you like?
"It isn't important. Never will this be said of me that I'd want. More, I'm convinced that the public exposition of the private things bring bad."
Are you superstitious?
"In Italy it's difficult not to become that."
Are you religious?
Recently you were in India.
"For work, yes."
Your husband has said that something important, grave, has happened in India: influencing the end of your relationship.
"I don't know. I don't understand and in all cases I don't want to talk about it. I was in India only for one and a half months."
Someone has said and written that Yari, your only male child, went to India and reported missing.
"Nonsense. Yari was in India but now he's in Italy and very well."
A wonderful Roman sunset comes down onto the terrace in Trastevere, the consuming lights make the most difficult questions easier for the interviewer.
I have to talk about it, Romina, ask you about Ylenia.
"Whatever I think I keep for myself. And it couldn't be different. Magazines and television have speculated too much on this story, there are editors that got rich with the pains of others. It has gone over every imaginable limit. Without shame, in an obscene way. Intolerable."
Now, if you want, you can tell something as conclusion.
"There can't be anything conclusive. The most unlikely lies were written. Without respect. Without shame. It's enough."
Has the loss of Ylenia changed the relationship with the other children?
"I wouldn't tell."
I'd like to tell you: I understand the difficulty and the reserve. But don't you, Romina, never open yourself?
"I open rarely, with very few people."
"Maybe because, when I was young, I've experiences everything alone for a long time. I'm used to silence. Maybe out of a form of protection."
Would you have liked to experience it in a different way?
"I didn't want to be a public person. But I do a job that makes me known, identifiable."
You could stop.
"Now! I do what I can do."
And, at the threshold to the 50 years, you change your life completely. It needs very much courage.
"A bit of courage, yes. But I'm not the one to decide. I think that everything is decided by fate. I feel a river that transports me, I let myself go and I try to make the little part that touches me better. Everything's already written."
She shows the palm of her hand. "It's all written in the signs. I'm not the one who has made them, I'm not the one that will be able to change them. I'm born that way, as everybody, with a course of events already traced out. This life has touched me, this time."
Do you think there are more lives?
"Yes. I hope. Maybe."
Can I confide to you a, maybe brusque, feeling as a summary?
The feeling that you at a certain point of your life, presented in a traditional and flawless way, maybe also out of inevitable reflections bound to the disappearance of Ylenia, you have discovered new frontiers to pass over. They are explosions, or bit by bit, I don't know, new things inside. Maybe you have understood to have wasted something. For example, I don't believe that you like the part of your life bound to the ballo del qua qua.
"I haven't wasted it, I don't make balances, it wouldn't be just to deny the things that way. The things are complex. As for the ballo del qua qua..."
"Certainly I don't want to be identified and remembered as the ballo del qua qua. They're typical frustrations in the show business. I've made an album, in '73, of which I'm proud, "Ascolta, ti racconto di un amore". An album that remained unnoticed, it wasn't commercial. It always happens that way."
"Often. I've got another beautiful album in the drawer for 3 or 4 years, made with my son Yari. Nobody takes it into consideration for what it is worth."
Do you feel undervalued?
"Yes. But also from my fault, or responsibility. I've always put the children and the family above work. In front of so many other choices I let myself me transported from the river..."
From the river?
"From fate, yes. As I've said."
And there isn't the feeling to have wasted some opportunities?
"No, no. They were the right choices, for family life. My children absolutely in first place. When I was pregnant there didn't exist another one, for me. And then I fed them as long as I could, I studied with them, I've tried to keep them far away from contamination."
"How could I have followed a real cinematographic career? And the theater? Here: I would have liked to make theater, it was a fascinating challenge, it could have vitalized me."
And now? Would you like to have another child?
"Certainly yes. Ideally, yes: I'd like to become mother again. But it won't happen. I've already given my contribution, as American, to the Italian population. I hope to become grandmother, this yes. Grandmother! Yes, I'd like it. Also because it would say that Yari has made it."
And the men? Is there another love for you today?
"Men, you say? I know them more and, I'm sorry, I love my little dog Floppy more."
Why this aversion? In your life you've had few experiences.
"Few, yes. I didn't bend forward, you see."
And how could he be, an ideal man? Would the wealth be important?
Absolutely not. Beauty? As you like. Able to listen, not aggressive."
And now? Impossible to find him?
"I don't say this. But I have just won my liberty again: why sacrifice it? The men don't interest me." She laughs: "Not because I change the tendency!"
You have anticipated a difficult question. In your last book released in these days, there's an allusion of a certain type of relationship between two women... It seems to be an allusion of a Lesbian love."
She laughs again: "But no, it's balanced, it's only about friendship."
What does sex represent for you?
"It's needed to do it and not to talk about it. More you talk about it and more you degrade it, the mystery is taken away. It degrades it."
Once more you don't open more.
"I'd like to open myself. Maybe at the age of 80, hoping to reach it, when I'll be able to say everything."
Why not now? Are you afraid? Here another feeling: you're afraid to be near the people, because of your fame, and not because of your personality. Here's why you'd want to be unknown.
"It is so. I'm tired to decipher, to understand... Too many hypocrisies, contradictions. It's the Latin mentality, I don't like it. Style of "one hand washes the other...". I'm tired to understand if there are hidden motives behind these apparent things."
So to understand: you're also afraid of this interview? Do you think that I want to make a scoop, to trip you up?
Try again, alone, with two or three adjectives, to make a drawing of yourself.
"This, frankly, is impossible."
You confirm to be happy.
"I've passed very difficult moments, hardened by the torture of the pressure from the papers. Now it goes better, a bit better."
I've also read that you'd want to retire from show business bit by bit.
"It's so. If it would be possible."
Have you found friends in the show business? Good friends on which you can count?
"True friends? Let me think..."
Very beautiful, elegant, lighted from the last rays of the sunset, Romina Power has closed the eyes and has thought for a long time. And it was a long, weighing, very long silence.
(7 July 2000)
Romina Power: A good relationship with LSD
In the issue of "Sette", today at the stands with the "Corriere della Sera", an unexpected confession of Romina Power, caused by the book "Italian underground" by Matteo Guarnaccia. The ex-companion of Albano Carrisi explained how mother Linda Christian "always traveled, always taking a small bottle of LSD in her beauty case", so much to give some drops into the tea of King Hussein of Jordan out of a joke. "To make a trip to a not prepared person isn't a thing that you should do, it was really a weighty joke. For me LSD was never negative, I took it regularly, there was a period in which I took it practically every day, I hardly stood up and went quietly in circles at theater premieres, exhibitions, at whatever part, on a trip. I've never understood these reports of people that went mad, that reacted badly."
April 27 2000
Romina Power: "I don't even have a trace of a man"
Romina Power has said to the weekly magazine "Oggi" that the voices about a relationship after the separation from Al Bano are unfounded. "There's nobody at my side, not even a trace of a companion. Love isn't easy. You have to learn to live well with yourself first to be able to live well besides another one later. Now I'm living the adolescence I haven't had because I started working at a very young age. Later I had become wife and mother. But you don't have to relate, cling to someone because of the fear to stay alone.
Messenger of the UNO against drugs
http://web.tiscali.it/AlbanoCarrisi/ (under News)
From Cellino San Marco to the Palazzo di Vetro to sing against drugs. Al Bano Carrisi collects the nth challenge in his artistic career, maybe the most fascinating. He became ambassador of the UNO against drugs. To give the prestigious function was the general secretary of the United Nations Kofi Annan. A job of Al Bano who will depart from Apulia to go to the five continents.
Say the truth, did you expect such an important duty?
"Absolutely not. I'm very content, I don't [sto nella pelle ?]. The UNO has made has made the center: it's years that I was thrown into this direction."
But how was your candidature born?
"I don't know. I didn't move a finger. What should I say? It's a divine sign. It will have been my popularity or my music."
How did you feel to sing before Kofi Annan and the people of first grade in the international level?
"A great emotion. I got compliments that have made me proud. It's the confirmation that the depth of my message was received more abroad than in Italy, also if in the last years the approach with the Italians has changed to the better."
How will you do your activity as "messenger"?
"I already have a precise idea but I don't make anticipations because first I want to meet Pino Arlacchi who directs the project of the UNO for the fight against drugs."
Per tutta la vita
With Fabrizio Frizzi and Romina Power.
In every episode three celebrity couples are hosted that more than telling their little matrimonial stories are also called to judge the liking of the competing couples, ready to unmask their values and faults, competing in an evening in which the central theme is that of love, confronted to start the most difficult step, the marriage. So the young fiancés of Italy repeat the phrases in the studio that have bound them and that will unite them for live, they repeat the love and swear eternal faith in their union for the whole life, in front of cameras, on TV, with the consent of millions of viewers. On Raiuno.
Al Bano: after Romina, I feel myself a man again
by Roberta Bottari
Rome- "It's hard to stay without a woman for six years, I couldn't anymore. I'm a man and I want to live as one." Very hard break-out of Al Bano. The singer, after causing a stir with his separation, has decided that he doesn't want to tell his version. And yesterday in Verissimo, the afternoon illustrated on Canale 5, he has told about the end of the love with Romina Power. "Yes, I've started to live again. I'm tired to feel refused and I had the wish to vibrate again. Now I've got a relationship with a woman. Normally I don't like to talk about my private life. But I'm tired of reading tortuous love stories in the papers, completely invented. Now I tell you: I'm with a girl, she's called Gabriela Skrabakova and is a journalist. It's not a big love but it's a beautiful story. We got to know each other during an interview and, when we were finished, I realized that I had the wish to talk with her."
Reached him in Paris, in Disney World, where the singer has taken the daughters Cristel and Romina, Al Bano opens his heart: "With Gabriela I've got a relationship that works and more than the physical aspect. When we got to know each other I immediately noticed that there was something magic in her look, it happened a year ago. After some time, I'm feeling good emotions again. We hardly ever see each other. We hear each other continually but meeting isn't always easy, we manage not more than two or three times a month. No, don't ask me if it's the story of my life, I don't know that. I don't know how long it will last and I don't want to know either. But I know that I don't suffer anymore. And that's enough for me."
Al Bano rails against the one that has commented the end of a long marriage with Power: "When I and Romina separated someone has talked about the fall of a myth, someone of the breaking of a legend, someone else of a loss of an image. What you want is important, I've never worked for the image. To be a man, yes. For that I've worked seriously and I'll work for all my life."
And still: "Romina dependent of my character? Absurd. I'm a decisive person, it's true, but it's all here. I've always respected the others, also in my decisions. Certainly, Romina too. And I say that without hesitating because I love to look the people in the eyes."
And finally: "Gabriela in Cellino San Marco? Difficult to imagine in this house but I think that she neither sees herself voluntarily in these four walls. I don't want to make hypotheses on my future, I'll see what happens. The difference in age? I'm not worried. Certainly, she is more than 20 years younger than me, but when you meet a person with whom you feel particular emotions you don't ask for the identity card. My children are and will always be my first and biggest love that I feel. But I, after all those storms, have also the right to live.
"Wild Profiles"- Al Bano Carrisi
It was said quasi as much as it has been written.- I'm used to gossip on my private stories. But I haven't made the callus, I say.
Does Romina in determined periods still stays in her residence near the villa that you see in Curtipitrizzi?- Here she has a logistical base, she occupies it when she comes to Cellino.
And the children? After the separation what roads will they take?- All that has happened between us hasn't disturbed their serenity at all. All that we've done and do is in their absolute, lovely respect. They stay a bit with me, a bit in Rome with Romina. We organize it on their and our needs.
You have written the last word without consequences of war?- Well, yes.
Why do you smile?- If we want to say that we have broken up in peace, without quarrels, let us put it just that way.
How do you feel?- I live. I live and I don't want to talk about these things.
Romina has said that she isn't happy.- But I don't know anything about Romina. I don't know nothing about her anymore and then neither what she says and if that what she has said or made is true or not.
Are you alone now?- I'm alone, why?
You didn't built a couple with the Slovak Gabriela Skrabakova, famous face of TV in the east, brunet, 30 year old, pretty?- But you know how many loves, how many stories they pin on me every day?
One even with your old friend Rita Dalla Chiesa.- Just like that, nonsense.
But this with the journalist and actress in Bratislava is true.- And then?
You have presented her also to your parents, taken her here to Cellino.- But it's over. It's over. With Gabriela it's over and there's nothing more. A very pretty girl in fact, of great sensitivity, intelligence. But the story is over.
Why?- Because it lasted until it was time. She has appeared in my life in the right moment and too early. After the separation from Romina I had a lot of fear to bind me. Also if I didn't think that consciously, it was a bit like going on glowing coals. Gabriela has helped me to get through this phase, to free myself, with a clear relationship, on equal terms, clear from the principle and then honest. She was an important woman in my life also for this motive. Now we keep the respect, a big friendship, affection. You feel that, understood to see it. It's over. I'm now here with myself.
Romina Power: Happiness? Yes, but without Al Bano!
Romina Power is a versatile star, in fact she's actress, singer, conductor on TV and painter. Romina now encourages to find full liberty of expression only in the variety of artistic expression.
To confirm her versatility she has just written her first feature film and published her first book entitled: "Cercando mio padre" [Searching for my father]. Her career is strewn with successes in various sectors of show.
We go through the major stages of her life: she was born in Los Angeles on October 2 1951, her debut came in cinema, following in the footsteps of father Tyrone and mother Linda Christian, in 1970 she marries Al Bano with whom she shot different musical films and with whom she has formed the inseparable duo also in music, producing various songs of success. In 1984 she wins the Festival di Sanremo with Al Bano with the piece "Ci sarà".
Unfortunately the cited duo broke up the marriage. Their long and much acclaimed relationship was ruined probably because of the disappearance of Ylenia who wasn't seen anymore since December '93 when she was 23 years old.
Her debut in cinema happened when she was still very young in fact playing next to Ugo Tognazzi in "Ménage all'italiana" by Franco Indovina (1965), in 1967 she played in "Nel sole" with Al Bano with whom she shot seven musical films until 1970. In 1996 she was together with Kabir Bedi in the television miniseries "Il ritorno di Sandokan".
What regards the music you certainly know all the numerous discs with her ex-husband Al Bano Carrisi. Numerous are also the participations on television programs, among these: "Doppia Coppia", "Doppio Sandwich", "Fantastico 2", "Tasto matto", "Gran festa italiana", "Una vita emozionale" and "Per tutta la vita".
To conclude we can shock with this declaration of Romina on the topic LSD: "For me it was never negative, I took it regularly, there was a period in which I took it practically every day just as I stood up and went quietly to theatre premières, to exhibitions, to where ever on a trip."
Al Bano: Goodbye Romina, I don't know you anymore
by Nino Cirillo
NOW it can be told. Now that it's a load off Al Bano's mind that his torture and bitterness have become public, it can be told when the love story with Romina really ended.
On the eve of New Year's Day 1994 in the big house in Cellino San Marco the phone rings, at the other end of the line there's Ylenia who wants to greet the family reunited for the festivities. She talks with mother Romina, with the brother and the little sisters and in the end she exchanges two sentences with Al Bano. Jerky tone, cutting phrases, from the old-fashioned father to the rebelling daughter, it ends with a thrown down receiver. It will be Ylenia's last phone call.
They won't see her again alive, they'll search half America, they'll contact magicians and jackals, and in the end, Al Bano more and Romina less, they'll tiredly resign, hit by the fate that neither the worst enemy could wish. They'll make a cut and they'll make it too soon, they'll challenge the papers and then they'll help, they'll leave forever on their way the scary impression that in the fate of their daughter there'll be something that they don't want to say. [?] But from a distance of five years, the morbid attention of these days has flown away, you can also ask: wasn't it maybe, and isn't it still, their right?
Now you can also say that on the end of their beloved daughter Al Bano and Romina, apart this stormy and tremendous phone call, have always had different ideas. He, proud and stubborn as only certain intelligent man of the South know to be, at a certain point has said it's enough, has given up "mentally" to search for her, has chosen the way of silence and sufferance. She, as intelligent as him but at the antipodes because of her family roots and education, has always left it open, just as stubborn, a spiral. It's always a run inside to the videos that shoot up like mushrooms, to the private investigators, to the taxi drivers of Santo Domingo and Belize that swear to have given the poor Ylenia a ride.
And when it's about getting Al Bano for the first tour after the disappearance of the girl in April 1994 in Australia Romina thought not to follow the crew over Bangkok but to go over Los Angeles to then reach Melbourne.
Neither she nor the others have ever explained why the Qantas, in the middle of April, together with her accepted too reservations signed with "Y. Carrisi". If one was son Yari, who wanted to be the other "Y"? Nobody can think less that it was the last desperate tentative, the last vain hope to bring Ylenia to the family alive.
She talked voluntarily with the journalists, he responded with one syllable, she tried to postpone the return on stage, he pushed it, maybe only in the hope to decrease the pain. And they were already apart from each other, always more alone.
Until the last appearance in TV with Gianni Minà. He in great form, signed by life but ready to challenge it once more, she connected home, always pretty but prisoner of an infinite dismal. Both stubborn in not wanting to talk about that daughter.
But if they've recognized a result, in these so difficult years for them, it's that finally they have got rid of the etiquette of a wonderful singer couple, the march from "Felicità" and "Ballo del qua qua". They are strong, the know to do their job, they've ideas that in the world of the Italian music they have made it and are making it. And above all they are real people: they earn the respect of all.
Romina alla romana
Fashion show. Exhibitions of pictures. Novels. Collection of poems. And she doesn't miss a party. It's the new Power after Al Bano
by Maria Simonetti
More envied from Naomi. More acclaimed from Megan. More invited from Valeria. Who is it? Surprise: Dead- beat hardest people in a row like the curvaceous Campbell, the shining Gale and the high- spirited Marini, the queen of the summer '99 is her, Romina Power. Since, after the separation from Al Bano, she lives in Rome as a single, more beautiful, shining and two sizes thinner, her life is a whirlwind. She doesn't miss high society: from the parties for Francis Ford and Coppola Gay Mattiolo to the party from thousand and one night of the ambassador of Morocco, the ex- Misses Carrisi, put down the pans of the farmer of Cellino San Marco and shining in new [indianeggianti]), is the most courted and admired.
For the first time she has exhibited her pictures that she painted since she was 14 years old. She has made it in the villa Suspisio, in Rome, where her sunflowers, the drawings and the landscapes tower between rich buffets of canapé, world music and good-looking people. It was a triumph. That she is convinced to organize a new vernissage for September, this time in Venice. Because, she fantasizes, "my romantic dream is to be able to come in a gondola into a beautiful palace and find my pictures exhibited." It isn't finished. At the fashion shows Romina has challenged on the catwalk top models of good reputation, coming down from the steps of Trinità dei Monti dressed by the stylist Egon Fürstenberg. To tell the truth, after the first step the shoelace of the high-heeled shoes opened, and the neo mannequin was on the point to fall over like the famous pram in the film "La corazzata Potëmkin" ["The armored cruiser Potëmkin"]. But Romina is a professional: she has clenched her teeth and arrived at the bottom with all and two shoes between the applause of the audience.
In the end, obviously, there's the novel in the drawer. After "Cercando mio padre" (Gremese) dedicated to the life of the divine parent Tyrone Power, and a collection of poems not yet published, the untiring Power has written her first novel. Top secret title and editor: the actress reveals only that it is "a story of a friendship between two women and a summer trip searching for lost time." Sponsor of many talents is Guya Suspisio that today hosts Power in his villa at the botanic garden. Here Romina has taken refuge, hunted from hordes of paparazzi, leaving for the moment the new apartment in Trastevere.
Suspisio says: "Romina is a sunny person and full of interests, not conceited and inconsistent like the people in show business." It's true: in her life she has painted more than 70 pictures, "with the spatula, in oil on canvas, with bright colors", the artist explains: "I'd want that my picture hung on the wall, would be a window open to the fantasy, the entrance towards another dimension". Oho: New Age prophet, now. Of course not: real ex hippy Romina she knows the practices of the New Age from the 60s. And today as then she makes yoga, meditates, lights incense, hangs up little chimes in the garden that tingle in the wind and in the house mobiles, little figures of Japanese style cards.
According to the stylist Egon Fürstenberg Power is living a new youth: "She's more free, can be herself finally: Al Bano, a real man of the South, held her closed." Also Pippo Baudo who always was a friend of the family Carrisi, agrees to the fact that "after a trauma like the separation the reaction is to look for a different life, with new friendships and interests." But are you really happy, Romina? She says to enjoy herself, but sometime. Other times not. Certainly not when she is besieged by scandal journalists. That continue to pin bevies of friends on her: from the make-up artist Tano Romano to the count Filippo Puglisi Alibrandi until the actor Christopher Lambert as well as the journalist Aldo Piro. The same doesn't believe the theory of the repressed wife in fact: "Romina is a very strong woman, much more than Al Bano", Piro says who has shot "Per tutta la vita", the TV show with which Power has triumphed on Raiuno together with Fabrizio Frizzi. And he concludes: "As a true American she can seem ingenuous, a bit naive. But she is of an outstanding cleverness.
Is Ylenia Carrisi still alive? That is told by brother Yari.
The issue of the weekly magazine "Oggi", at the newsstand from 06/02, contains an exclusive interview with Yari Carrisi, son of Al Bano and Romina. The second born child of the recently separated couple talks about his sister and maintains: "Ylenia isn't dead and she will let herself be heard of."
Romina Power, flirt with Alain Elkann? "Famiglia Cristiana" intervenes.
Romina Power, flirt with Alain Elkann? "Famiglia Cristiana" intervenes.
In every daily newspaper the debates concerning the crisis between Al Bano Carrisi and Romina Power continue. "La Repubblica" writes: "An invite to reconciliation between Al Bano and Romina Power comes from "Famiglia Cristiana". The paper wants that a thinking over happens: Al Bano and Romina have declared themselves, for now, defeated. We hope not forever. You can go out of a love crisis more strong." And on it's site "Italy global nation" (www.adnkronos.com), photo shooting, would illustrate how close Alain Elkann, ex-husband of Margherita Agnelli and father of Yaki, would be to Power. Interviewed of "Messaggero", Elkann negated everything and talks of a big friendship, first to declare that "What happens in my private life is only concerning me." Curious how the journalist doesn't apply his own principle to the people he has interviewed.
Romina Power: "I wouldn't have given the news to the papers"
Stealing material from the section "gossip", we report parts of the long interview by Alain Elkann with Romina Power, that "La Stampa", knowing of the "punch", announces also on the first page. The singer says that she doesn't love another, would live a "monastic life" and that she doesn't share the idea of her husband to make the crisis public. "It's a private thing, I think news should be much more important. The separation between me and Al Bano concerns just us. I think that Al Bano has talked with the papers to anticipate scoop and scandalous headlines. I know basically already that there are speculations of every type. Maybe he has made it right this way. Personally I would act differently. But, by the way, we wouldn't even have made the news public when we married, if it would have been for me. In the papers, television, they would speak of other things, of violence that is made in the world against children, of great injustice that is there, of the hunger in the world, these are the things of which must be talked about. True tragedies. My separation from Al Bano is basically not of public interest."
Al Bano has written in his letter to "Oggi" that when you went to India for a film on Sandokan something happened that damaged your relationship. Maybe you had another love? And has he already other women?
"No, absolutely not. There are no other persons in our lives: neither in mine nor in his."
But you and Al Bano have stayed friends?
"We don't touch this topic. Certainly, it's not a beautiful period, neither for him nor for me."
Have you seen the Festival di San Remo?
"Yes. And I must say that it's a much more beautiful sight as a spectator than as singer."
And how did Al Bano seem to you?
"He sang like usual, with the voice of a winner."
But he hasn't won...
"He has won for the one that knows to appreciate him."
Maybe he wasn't worth the pain that still remains together?
"He doesn't say these things: if we'd be separated it's because it wasn't possible anymore."
To draw attention to an article in "Messaggero" in which actor Lorenzo Crespi negates to have had a love story with Romina during the work of Sandokan in India.
The letter of Al Bano
Dear director, Romina and I have separated. I prefer to tell it, to avoid rumors. I'm unable to save my marriage. I've done my best but I failed.
The idea that the family can break is foreign to my nature, to my education, to my religious sense. The family is forever. But now I must act against my believe. I'm surprised to feel at the same time devastated and rational.
Nobody can imagine how happy we were, for 26 years. We lived three meters above earth. All this that touched us became joy. Romina was a good wife and a good mother: four decent, lovely and beautiful children. Our family was perfect.
Misfortune came when we didn't expect it. And we didn't withstand. 5 years ago in New Orleans the disappearance of our firstborn child broke the magic that lasted 26 years. And there I, who always predicted pride and strength showed tears. It can seem easy to say it then but I suddenly felt that in this moment the end of our family began. I saw that my wife began to act in a different way. It was as if I had another woman in front of me. I had lost my infallibility in her eyes. I wasn't able to prevent the tragedy. This cleft has widened, it has tore us more and more apart, until we made us different and, finally, foreign. We are not responsible in this story. We looked to be attentive parents, to be wise. We have made mistakes. But I don't see, in what has happened to us, a punishment for something.
We had different ideas on what has happened to our daughter. I've seen that my wife drifted away every day more; for me she has become another woman now. I don't recognize the Romina of today anymore and she didn't want me in her life. The one I still love is a Romina that doesn't exist anymore. I've hoped that the work could help my wife. But in India, where she went because of a television film about Sandokan, something happened that damaged our relationship seriously. Life under the same roof gives no joy anymore. From then on it always went worse.
I don't have another woman. Romina has sworn that she doesn't have another man. If she had fallen in love with another man the situation would be easier and clearer. We are not to blame and there won't be, I hope, any complaints and resentments. We are together for 31 years, 26 in paradise and 5 in hell. God gives, God takes. We were seen under the eyes of all. We were given a lot by others. I owe an explanation, therefore I write this letter. It's a topic on which I talk now and will never talk anymore. I entered Romina's life in a fair way and I want to get out in a fair way. I want to spare us from rumors and speculations that could do damage to our children. Against the one that won't respect that I will be merciless.
Romina Power denounces Verissimo
17 January 1999
Romina Power went, together with the son, to the police in S. Lorenzo in Lucina, to get a pirate cassette back that shows her while she's shopping.
The cassette was aired from the program "Verissimo" and some images were reproduced on the pages of a weekly magazines. Romina Power has declared to want to get the guarantees for the privacy and a compensation.
Power: leave me in peace, I only want to disappear
The outbreak of the actress that returns on RaiUno with Frizzi from tomorrow on
Rome- "I like it that in a moment of polemics on television we celebrate the birth of two families in the show. "Per tutta la vita" isn't a sweet transmission, maybe a bit out of fashion but always followed, where the participants feel themselves in a celebration." Armed with smaller intentions, Fabrizio Frizzi presents the fourth edition of the variety of fiancés, on air from tomorrow on RaiUno. At his side there'll also be Romina Power, very sun tanned, come home from Miami.
But Power returns on TV quasi by chance, she confesses that she'd had a big wish to disappear. "I'm not interested in continuing to present programs" she tells. "It's not the life that I want to have. I am in search of a quiet place, I'd like to withdraw to write, paint... Yes, I'd like to disappear a bit sometimes. You can't bear the stress for a long time; I'm looking for myself. I feel that everybody is on me. On the other hand everything is already written, I believe in fatality. I'm not happy but who is really? Who is satisfied with little things: I try to remember to make it and to live the present more than the past or the future."
And in fact she cultivates her interests: painting first of all, and writing. In April her first novel will be published, Ho sognato Don Chisciotte, "non-autobiographical story of friendship between two women", and she'll play in a TV film directed by Lina Wertmuller. But the weight of her private life, the separation from Al Bano, makes her feel: "It's enough to think of the opinion of what was transmitted last year. For the families in the South it was as if it would be transparent." And she replies to father Ugolino Vagnuzzi, that has invited her to come back together with the husband. "But why doesn't this priest care for his own things? When we got married they said that it wouldn't last long, now that we separate they say that we have to come back together. I've never told this priest to leave priesthood nor to take the vow."
Romina Power wants to disappear: But from tonight on she's on TV
Rome- A serene smile, the face tanned, melancholy and courage in the words. And the determination not to stay at the rules of show, to go "quietly, quietly" from the stage of the world that gives "too much pressure" and "doesn't really please her anymore".
Romina Power steps out of the plane that takes her back from the USA directly to the stage of "Per tutta la vita" (on air this evening on Raiuno) and illustrates at a herd of journalists and photographers in the final evening of the festival of Sanremo her projects for the future. Inserting clamorous assertions: "No, I'm not happy- she confesses quietly- and I'm satisfied with the moments of serenity that life offers me. By the way, who really is?" "I'm a woman looking for herself, a woman of show business that lives the dream to find a quiet place in which one day to withdraw to make other things: paint, write books. In Italy? Maybe. Or somewhere else. I'd like to disappear from the stage a bit every time. I still feel much, too much pressure around me. I'm shy, I love to keep my things for myself. This situation is hard."
Power: "The TV has helped me but I'd only want to disappear"
Meeting with the actress that together with Fabrizio Frizzi presents "Per tutta la vita" on RaiUno. She has written a novel and paints
by Silvia Fumarola
Rome- In the little room in the Teatro delle Vittorie, mineral water and a photo in black and white: a good-looking father, Tyrone Power, that embraces the daughters. Romina Power is 47 years old and seems to be a girl: without make-up, gray T-shirt with "Make love not war" written on it, large rapper trousers, trainers, on the wrist a pearl bracelet. She has just finished the rehearsals of the costume that she'll wear that evening- the 50th part of the variety Per tutta la vita on RaiUno is celebrated- and for this event (guests Carlo and Marina Ripa di Meana, Lunetta Savino and Enrico Brignano alias Cettina and Giacinto of Un medico in famiglia and Amanda Sandrelli with Blas Roca Rey) she'll dance a waltz with Fabrizio Frizzi. Shy she prefers not to talk about ex-husband Al Bano but voluntarily tells about herself.
Misses Power, you have always defended your privacy, and present a variety in which the couples show their true feelings.
"The first year surprised me very much, then I've discovered that many families tell things on TV that I'd never told. I'm Anglo-Saxon, for me it's not understandable, but I must admit that Per tutta la vita has relaxed me, I'm a different person. I feel more free. And then since I present the program I've got the impression that the people like me more."
Have they forgiven you also the separation from Al Bano?
The families of the South not. First they embraced me, in the last year they ignored me. Now they make a little smile. Not the younger ones, that has never happened, they don't have these mental blockades."
You said that the TV has helped you to win over your shyness.
"It followed me since I was little. The parties at home I saw from far away, while my sister Taryn was always the center of attention. I'd have wanted to be more open, more extrovert. I was surprised when they made compliments. I've never thought I was pretty, maybe because I've never had faith in myself, I didn't have a father near me. I missed him."
You have told to have taken LSD.
"They've asked me for a testimonial for an underground book on the Sixties. It was easy in certain circles that the young people tried drugs. Yes: I've tried LSD, a risky experiment: I wouldn't suggest it with cappuccino."
Do you want to "slowly disappear" now?
"Yes, I'd want to continue to make art, to write, in a place far away from everyone. Disappear very slowly, make my traces be lost. The people of nature make me afraid more [?]. There are places where you feel a force that protects you. But I live in Trastevere, among the people, followed by photographers that are places everywhere."
They hope to surprise you with a new fiancé.
"Imagine, there isn't a man. They follow me also when I go to eat a pizza with my daughters. I've only got friends, younger than me, they are more enthusiastic for life, for curiosity."
How is the life as a single?
"Stress: I don't know what the practical side of life is. From college to the cinema to marriage, I've always had someone that did the things for me. If I have to repair an engine or pay a bill, I go crazy. But I'm a single that doesn't feel alone: I've got three children and I've adopted a dog. It's better than a man, he will never betray you and asks only affection."
Romina Power as painter and writer is born now?
"No, I paint since I was a girl, and at the age of 13 I had decided that I'd write a novel. I could do it now, after four years of work. It's the right moment. I'm making my dreams come true. Unfortunately I was always busy with work, during the pregnancy, the breast feeding; appointments non stop, without great pleasure."
What does her novel tell?
"It is called Ho sognato Don Chisciotte, it will be released in the middle of June: it's a story of two women, two friends that depart for Spain and find new aspects in their lives. It isn't usual for our days, it's like moved in time. It isn't autobiographical, let's say there's something of myself in the people."
You write, paint, say to want to disappear but make television. "I don't want to be bound to TV. It has helped me to go forward, but it's a stone in the middle of a river; it helps to go over it, it isn't the destination. I'd have wanted to be an actress. If I think of the careers of Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep..."
How is the relationship with your mother Linda Christian today?
"My mother has calmed down finally. In general the parents are to give advice to the children but she has done the contrary: I've told her many times "done", now she has found a home. Alone, without a man."
Article on "Per tutta la vita"
Rome- "I think that at this point you expect a comment on the news that have filled the first pages of the journals. I understand that in the interest, in the curiosity there's affection and for that I thank you. But you have to excuse me: because I see it as a private thing, I don't want to say anything." Romina Power has broken the ice just as she starts the program "Per tutta la vita". She has thanked the public, visibly emotional and tense, without mentioning Al Bano. And the spectators are crowded next to her with a long applause without knowing that hidden in the crowd were Cristel and Romina jr., the two daughters, that had come as a surprise to give courage to their mother. And the applause continues when Frizzi has added that "so much spontaneity is the confirmation that it's not true that the public always wants to know. That it doesn't need to watch out of a hole of a lock in the name of the public."
The presence of Power's daughters has escaped everyone because the RAI hasn't put guards there. The Delle Vittorie was declared off limits for reporters and cameras until yesterday afternoon. The journalists were hindered, for the first time in the story of variety on Saturday evening, to go around the set: it hadn't happened when Celentano had expressed putting the elections at risk, it didn't happen when Fantastico of Montesano sank and wasn't verified, not even with Carrà timid of anticipations on the "carràmbate". The only concession to the reporters: to be guests among the audience with the prohibition to contact the cast. To defend the privacy of the singer the high levels in Viale Mazzini hadn't hesitated to go back to lies negating the making of rehearsals in the afternoon: "Romina and Fabrizio will arrive in the studio little after 19 o'clock, there are no rehearsals before except minor parts that don't require their presence." Of course it wasn't that way.
Paradoxically the first consequences of the goodbye letter written by Al Bano have mixed up Romina's life more than the goodbye itself. The Italo-American artist has changed her habits living perfectly a life already at the frontier to a monastic one in order not to make place for bad tongues. Until some days ago in fact the Power, after the breakfast in her room of a big hotel she was allowed for a walk to buy newspapers. This habit has become less: Romina goes from the room of five stars to the little room of Delle Vittorie. And if she talked with entrusted friends eating in a restaurant in the center before she now immediately returns to the hotel. Not by chance the singer had responded to one that had asked her "what changes now?": "Nothing, only the fact that before, as a couple, we were more invited for dinner. Now it will be more difficult." Who knows if the words of Indro Montanelli will comfort her: "This separation is like a gentle note that fades away, I liked it that they were a couple that knew to live together."
Jeans and a beige pullover, Romina arrived in the studio towards 15.30. To receive her a couple of guys looking for an autograph. From this point of view to Al Bano, on the first day, it has gone worse: the singer, arrived on Friday in Naples for the shooting of Furore on Raidue, was ignored by teenagers that controlled the iron gates awaiting the three actors of Un posto al sole.
One time in the studio the singer has appeared happy and smiling. The two colossal body guards didn't have anything else to do than to go around the iron gates. Between dress rehearsals, reading the script and improvised jokes with Frizzi, the waiting for the show has passed without wrong notes. The only more "exerting" discussion on the opportunity or less to indicate in the transmission the private stories of the singer. With the other authors various hypotheses were analyzed: from this irony in which she had had to joke with Frizzi ("Ah, Fabrizio don't ask me anything, don't you too start with it...") to this more serious in which to confirm the intention not to want to talk about the private thing thanking in all cases the audience for the shown affection.
The singing wine grower
by Karl Günter Rammoser
Wine, woman and singing? Romina is history for Al Bano but he's got a perfect relationship to singing and wine- Album "Volare" (WEA)
Gets laurels for his wine- Al Bano
Photo: Public Address/Kirsten Borchard
For decades Al Bano and Romina Power, daughter of Hollywood-actor Tyrone Power, were the most famous Italian love and duet couple- their song "Felicità" got into the charts worldwide. Now they live in divorce. Romina has moved away from Al Bano Carrisi's home village Cellino San Marco and the keen cook, wine grower (!) and singer goes on alone. In the last time the man with the great voice dedicated himself to Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, now he has recorded Italian classic hits. And the album "Volare" is already on top of the charts in Austria.
Especially "Volare" with its beats sounds very modern. How come?
"Well, I love the variety, because music means movement. Before I had made a classical disc: Beethoven, Tchaikovsky. That one was more pensive and now I am in a better mood. Besides: I come from Southern Italy, am born near the village of Domenico Modugno.
From him are the songs "Volare" and "Piove". In 1957 he has won the Festival in San Remo and I told myself then: I want to become a singer too! The south of Italy was very poor, nothing was going on there. And I thought: If he can make it to go away from here and make a career then I want that too.
I went to Milan at the age of 16, had my first hit in 1957 and Modugno called me and congratulated me, wanted to meet me. That was the most important day in my life, student and teacher met each other! So this album is a bow to Domenico Modugno."
There's an Italian version of the German hit "Caprifischer" on it. Is it from you?
"Yes! I've translated the song in 1965 already and sang it with Romina. But out of some reason it never was released on a disc. But now! Why not "Caprifischer" in Italian? A funny song. Not Tchaikovsky, but…"
Almost all songs were recorded in your own studio in Cellino. How long does the studio exist already?
"Since 1987! It was the idea of my son Yari. He's a real studio freak…"
And has always worked on the album, as Cristel and Uga Carrisi. Also a family company!
"They always have sung "Azzurro" at home. So I took the three as singers in the choir at the recording of "Azzurro".
But you not only make music but also grow wine. How big is your winery?
"80 hectares. My brother is also a winegrower. Together we've got 200 hectares. Now we've created a new red wine from the Zinnfandel vine. It's called "Platone", named after the Greek philosopher Platon that was the first one to write about wine. The vine in Southern Italy also comes from Greece, from the time that the Greeks colonized Italy."
Is the winery commercially successful or more of a hobby in which you put money?
"I've started in 1983 and have invested more money in the wine than in my music. Now it's time also to look at the economic success. At the last "Vinitalia" (most important Italian wine fair) my wine has won a gold medal. That was reported in all Italian papers and on TV!"
Why are you called Al Bano? That sounds like "Albania"?
"My father was an Italian soldier in Albania during the Second World War. And he said to my mother: "If it is a girl call her Alba. If it's a boy he should be called Al Bano!"
Romina talks: "Mother, I always make you suffer"
Rome- "It seems that I only know to give my mother Linda Christian unpleasant things. I don't know if the notice of my separation made her suffer more or getting to know that I marry Al Bano years ago. I don't want to hurt anybody". Romina Power flees into the good-natured irony of a joke ("we Americans always try to dramatize") to comment the declarations of her mother in the USA. "My mother is right, I'd have had to inform her. But I'd have done it in March, personally, finished "Per tutta la vita". I didn't think that the notice would become public." Faithful to enormous reserve Romina would have wanted that "certain chosen personal things" would be kept "private" but she didn't have that with Al Bano: "He knows the psychology of the Italians better. He has wanted to avoid instrumentalizations." "I don't have another love, neither has Al Bano. There aren't- she says- other people in our lives. It has gone that way, the fate is completed", she repeats. The clamor caused from the notice of the separation has "astonished her sincerely". "But I recognize- she confirms- that the curiosity isn't morbid but sincere. There's affection. I understand that the people that have seen me being born and grow up through photos, they're interested in us. Certainly it's hard for a shy person like me to confront so much attention. Also because there isn't anything to say. Basically, who would be interested if two people recognize that they can't go together anymore? When two leave themselves, they leave themselves and that's it. But, here the chase for a scoop, another one, another one. I don't want to hear bad things about Al Bano. And then, why side with me or with him? Can't you stay friends with both? You mustn't insist on private things of an artist but accept the thing he knows to offer. My son Yari, shocked by so much pressure, has called me from New York: "I stay here for some years". I hope he's joking".
Romina Power would like to be left in peace and doesn't hesitate to say it openly. "I only ask for a bit of understanding and respect for my and my family's privacy". While the journalists, TV cameras and photographers continue to watch over the hotel where she stays and the teatro Delle Vittorie trying to "steal" some look or some detail more on the end of the marriage, the singer asks the press for a "truce", spreading a declaration-appeal. "This- she confirms- is a very difficult period for me. I only ask for a bit of understanding and respect for my and my family's privacy". They're days, in fact, in which the singer-presenter doesn't move a step without being shadowed by some paparazzo.
In this "tremendous period that also sees the death of aunt Anna", she intends to respond "with work and above all the care for my children in the home in Cellino. My life- she swears- continues like before". She isn't afraid to continue with Frizzi in "Per tutta la vita": "Certainly- she confirms with a smile- for me it hasn't gone well until the end. I'd have wanted to add a question mark in the title. But these guys that fall in love have a lot to teach me. It's a pleasure to watch".
Cercando Mio Padre (Looking For My Father)
Cercando Mio Padre is the result of about 25 years of research in the course of that. Romina Power has told an impressionistic harvest of testimonies on her father Tyron, meeting and interviewing all those that have known and worked with him, among them a lot of stars of Hollywood from the golden years. "For many years I've carried with me, around the world, notices full of questions. I've listened hour for hour to recorded notes with the people in his life. I've filled books with the original transcriptions of the interviews, and then I've spent many days, and some sleepless nights, before the typewriter to write, then the computer to think about him. The research has become an integrated part of my life. It is more than a simple choice, it became a need, an urge." Romina.
Dear, fragile dad
by Luisa Sandrone
25 years of research on the traces of a too soon gone parent, searching for memories and testimonies of actors and directors of Hollywood and of everyone that known him. Out of it emerges a Tyrone Power cult, profound and vulnerable.
The man, brazenly good-looking, comes with decisive step in a scene of the Far West: pistol on the side, cowboy hat, neckerchief and, in the background, bare mountains and houses made of wood. How many times have we seen the heroes go that way towards a duel to the last blood, a sunset of fire, a passionate embrace? This time not: in the hand no colt, but five little fingers that don't loosen the grip, in a silent bur irreconcilable declaration of possess. "You are mine", he seems to tell the child that- in opposite to the man- doesn't smile and comes to his side completely [impettita?] in her flowery dress.
He is Tyrone Power, the legendary actor of Hollywood whose 40th anniversary of the death day is just in these days (he died of an infarct on November 15 1958 during the shots of "Salomone e la regina di Saba" (Salomone and the queen of Saba"); the child, his daughter Romina, photographed during a visit to celebrate dad on the set of one of the uncountable films that saw him as protagonist.
This most tender picture, shot in 1953, has become the cover of the book Cercando mio padre (Gremese, 296 pages, 30.000 lire), fruit of 25 years of research and of a love without time that has taken her around the world- from the United States to Ireland, from Paris to Italy- on the traces of a parent just known and too early lost. But to Romina he was always felt to be united by a deep bound that emerges with the moving prepotency from these pages rich of testimonials, memories, photos and quotes. Faces and mythic names of yesterday's Hollywood (from actors like Henry Fonda, Cesar Romero, Janet Gaynor, Rock Hudson, Anita Ekberg to directors Henry King e Henry Hathaway) and then the friends, the companions on the fly- Tyrone Power was an exemplary pilot- and the many women of his life full of emotions but never satisfying or happy. The whole detailed story, transcribed and told with infinite affection, but without to indulge in censuring also where the argument was made (above all for a daughter) volatile, and then particularly painful. "The only things that I've kept silent", she admits, "are those that could have hurt some people a lot, from the truths that were never said. But not on my father."
A little lie, maybe the only one, and revealer of the relationship never resolved of Romina with her mother Linda Christian: she's just a very pretty actress that "never spoke about him (I asked her but I already knew before the synthetic, pragmatic answers) and she absolutely didn't help on my voyage", to come out tiredly from the pages of the book.
How and when was the idea to write born in you?
"Maybe when, 15 years old, I got a recording in which my father recited some poems of Byron and one- dedicated to his daughter Allegra- seemed just addressed to me. In that period I discovered something else that touched me: in the commune we had a preferred book, The prophet by the Lebanese Kahlil Gibran. To plant the seed in this land already fertile Evy Eman thought, then only an American admirer of dad and today a very dear friend. "You must fill the emptiness that is there on him", she encouraged me, and so my personal research became a concrete project. That unfortunately started at zero because I- in difference to my sister Taryn, two years younger than me- had no memory of my father, not even a flash (out of the instinct of autodefense, I think: first in my childhood and then in adolescence I've completely suppressed the situations that could make me suffer). I've started to collect photographical material, to read articles, to see all his films, to contact people bound, in some way, to his life. And the dreams came…"
In what dress is he presented, as actor or father?
"He was always dressed in white, smiling, quasi he wanted to assure me that everything was well; but when I embraced him, over the fabric of the jacket I touched the bones and every time he had to flee, there was someone that awaited him… It was that way all the Seventies, then for a long period darkness, not even a "meeting". Until the day that I gave the book to the editor with the last corrections it happened again: he was dressing to go to work, wore a white shirt and went down the stairs that I went up in a hurry. I've pressed him to me and finally I felt a whole body, real, that I could embrace. He had a caramel in the mouth and seemed happy: I've thought that maybe this book is a sweet thing too, for him."
Looking for your father you have met half of Hollywood: who has helped you more, the big stars or the people?
"The first to understand that my project was born from the heart and not from a commercial or scandalous interest- in the wake of many "witches", see Joan Crawford's daughter- was aunt Anne, my father's sister. She has given me a lot, as Annabella, his first wife: people that until now I had just touched, and that thanks to my research I could discover and appreciate. But also the divas (with the exception of Lana Turner that shut the door, Don Ameche, Kim Novak, Marlene Dietrich, …) have helped me with their memories. In the book they're all, Henry Fonda, that in the beginning showed himself angry (poor one, Taryn and I have kept the summer time and we blew in with big anticipation, surprising him tousled and taking breakfast), but then slowly he relaxed and became "quasi" lovely; the great Henry King, a very sweet old man generous with memories; Rock Hudson that as a young, to see dad recite at the theatre, broke a door… All, really all, have talked well of him and certainly not because they were in front of the daughter of Tyrone Power, for them no one more than an unknown person."
From your book a figure of an educated, sensitive, intellectual man emerges: was that what you discovered more beautiful than what you had thought of your father?
"Yes, because his depth of soul, his being so poetic, fragile and vulnerable on the piano of the feelings, have made me feel much nearer. A wonderful feeling but also painful: if you fall in love with a person knowing that the time to stay together will never come anymore, and all what stays left are memories that others have given you, and photos and articles of journals… then you can't make you suffer less. Because of that I understand my brother Tyrone jr. that didn't want to have anything to do with the book: he didn't even get to know dad, if not reflected in stories of others, and has always seen it with this big emptiness inside. In contrary to me that I've wanted to know him, he has chosen to draw a line, to forget."
She, Romina, hasn't forgotten anything. Weaving in biographical notices, original documents (the letter of Tyrone to mother Patia, an actress that after having built a family became an articulation teacher; these of the father, an actor- also he Tyrone- to the son "Bingo" that told him the intention to follow in his footsteps; the poems and the strong epistolary correspondence with the friend Watson Webb during the three years in the army) and testimonials of colleges on the set, she has constructed a mosaic with the face of the father. Without hiding the weaknesses of the man, avoiding the traps of certain little troubles that would have enjoyed many editors ("I'm thankful", she says, "because he has accepted the book as I had thought and wanted it, without asking me to change a comma"), letting the people talk and banning herself to the second grade. "My father is the protagonist, it's him that I've wanted to discover to the one that knows the mask of the author (able to interpret a broad range of roles without crystallizing himself in a comfortable cliché), but ignoring the personality of the man."
And now that the voyage has ended and the umbilical cord, as you say in the dedication to your daddy, is cut, do you feel liberated or a bit alone?
"Liberated? Oh no, I'm already thinking to make little corrections, and then there's the American edition to follow, maybe to modify… I don't manage to leave this book, I could continue to rework on it for all of my life. To be relieved, if at all, is my husband: Al Bano, in these 25 years, has endured everything. Now finally he can take a breath."
by Paolo Simonetti
Name: Albano Carrisi
Star sign: Taurus
Hobby: He likes to renovate old houses
A sadness full of happiness
Why have you started to produce wine?
I'm an amateur in wine and since I was a child I planned that if one day I had success I'd dedicate the winery to my father that had always made good wine for the family. It seemed proper on one's part that had the "fortune to make fortune" to dedicate the wine and the winery to my father.
What kind of wine do you produce?
Chardonnay, Sauvignon, Negroamaro, dark Malvasia, Trebbiano and Montepulciano.
Is it a big winery?
110 ha. I've made the new plants and I've also used the old types Malvasia and Negroamaro.
There was already a family tradition, in '73 I've started and I've bought new ground one by one during the years.
What is his role?
Very limited because my profession doesn't permit to stay a lot in contact but when I am, these few days, I like to spend energy for a different factor than my work.
How do you practically intervene?
I try a lot, alone and with friends; but Romina is very busy with the esthetic factor, labels on the bottles, corks, caps.
Do you have big success?
It's starting to go very well while for many years it was more red than red wines.
You like to drink, why? Is it a passion or a pleasure?
I've always thought of wine that, if it's a good wine, is above all a medicine and then, because of this idea that I've had, I always drank of the good wine occasionally.
I never exaggerate. I don't even manage to change the different wines during the meal because I think that it does bad.
For the pleasure it goes well to change but in the body I don't believe that this mixture does good.
I'm conscious to be the wrong person. Other times I've tried this system but then I didn't get up to get up. And then the taste of the wine is lost. You try and then in the end nothing remains anymore for you, only a big confusion.
I like to enjoy only one wine from the start to the end.
What is the wine that you prefer?
It absolutely doesn't exist. There are the great wines that I like depending in which place I find myself, for example in Spain to taste the Vega Sicilis, in France certain Rothshilds, in Italy from Amarone to certain Barolis to certain wines of Oltrepò from Pavia, also the not so well known producers that make special wines and then certainly mine too, why not?
There are a bunch of artists that were dedicated to wine in the last time, Bruno Lauzi, Ornella Muti, at last Stefania Sandrelli. What do you think about that? Maybe a fashion that is going around in the artistic area?
I'd say yes. But I can't make an analysis.
The competitors increase... Maybe I set a precedent?
To what kitchen do you feel bound?
One time when I traveled I missed the spaghetti, the Italian kitchen. Then with the time I've accepted it and deepened it, I've learned to appreciate other kitchens and I think they're good: the change makes you be undecided.
You have given the name of some songs to your wines?
Yes, felicità, nostalgia and then three others dedicated to my father: Don Carmelo.
After 30 years of career, do you feel tired or do you have the wish to continue?
It goes for me and I like it: it's a profession that I feel in the blood. I've never instrumentalized very much. It's like wine: I must enjoy it.
What do you like more: to sing for yourself or in contact with the audience that as a reaction gives satisfaction?
All together then to get the consent you have to earn it every evening on the fields.
Is it more pleasure to drink or to sing?
I don't amuse myself, neither when I drink nor when I sing. I think when I drink and I think when I sing. It's not a game. The idea of entertainment is another thing. They are two different emotions, with the singing you are giving, with the wine you are taking.
What is there in your future?
I'd want to come back to the cinema, I miss it.
As actor. I think I have to get even with the cinema, not that I want to become an actor: I'd only want to close this break that others have opened to me when I wasn't interested and they instrumentalized me because I had successful songs and these took the people to the cinema. Then, when I more or less had begun the profession, it was over. I miss this work and I want to finish this career in my way. There are some situations that are at stake and I must choose the best.
To which roles do you feel taken to?
I want a rather complex role. A script of an extraordinary and intense mankind in which there are four seasons of the human being, serenity, madness, intensity, sadness and then... the wish to start again.
Why, with this great voice, have you never challenged yourself in a bit more namely interpretations?
It's not true, in Italy you know very little about my repertoire. I challenged myself in blues, folk, songs in two, opera. When I hear saying "singer of light music" I feel a bit reduced. I'm a singer of music and that's it. The offer that they made to me, here in Italy, was always a bit trite and was hardly entitled to me. To all this banality we then add sarcasm that has rained onto various parts. An exercise of people against it.
All the successful people become a bit imitated and pulled on their legs.
I must say that when the same people pull on the legs that turn to the lawyers, then...
Have you noticed a touch of maliciousness in all this?
A touch? A layer, a cover of steal of maliciousness.
To what do you count that?
Maybe because maliciousness is part of the human soul.
Or maybe because the fact to be a dog with dragging reins has disturbed, not to belong to some group, not to frequent parlors, not to have all in all friendships that count and can also influence. Then you become a target and everyone's there to shoot on you.
A dream in the drawer?
I don't want to talk about dreams, I want to realize projects. I have one very important thing and for the invocation of good spirits I don't talk about it.
I don't get to have dead times in my life, I'm a restless person and then so many things: architecture, painting and subaqua fishing. The contact with this world absolutely without rumors fascinates me a lot. I like the contrast of a world in movement and full of rumor with this great silence of the sea.
Do you like the solitude?
Sometimes I must tank the solitude. I've got a profession in which lonely stars become a pleasure.
Where do you find yourself again?
Always. When I have the need to get down to the people and when I want to stay alone.
What does family mean?
For one that was born in a family cult and that has experienced everything through the family the career is of a big difference, it occupies only the fourth place. Because they are elements that must grow with you: it doesn't take that much over the father but the psychologist, it needs to set under way astute arguments, to be a good sailor but maybe more a commander. And then there exist so many factors, so many surprises and so many unknown things day for day for which the family earns a constant assistance, a continuing advance.
Without love you don't build up a family.
At the age of 17 I fled from home to go to Milan where I began to earn 25000 Lire a month and I send 15000 home. When these payments arrived at home they thought that I was well. But I suffered like a dog. For months in a row I had also had three different jobs a day without rest, in a city in which I felt a provincial and that didn't receive me with open arms. But it wasn't important. It was a very important period of life for me.
When I gave the money home and felt that they were proud of me I went crazy because of joy. This what I kept in me was the possibility to make it, not the idea to have it.
When was the moment in which it happened that you have made it?
In Venice on Piazza San Marco: the apotheosis, I sang "Nel Sole", there were 10000 people; the people, the autographs, the hotel full of flowers, of presents; I told myself: "Here: it's done! It's done!" But in the same moment, with the typical prudence of one that has suffered to come here, I told myself, yes, it's done, but it's still the letter A, the bad comes from now on. And I wasn't wrong. Steps of some being to be known and the "gangs" arrived and in our area are so many, ready to press to...
To take advantage of you?
I say ready to tear you the soul.
I've met that and I've developed mechanisms of defense.
You're a person of great passions and great feelings. Are these the ones that disturb more in this world? Or whom do you annoy?
I'd be a saint if I'd say that I don't. I make only one type of nasty trick to these people: this that I don't want any type of contact anymore. For me they are like books that I never wanted to read.
What do you want to do tomorrow?
I know already what I do tomorrow; I go to Vienna for a concert in front of 100000 people for the Festival of the Danube that takes place every year. There's also the brother of Bill Clinton that plays sax, the major of Vienna and many other people.
Fortunately I've got a big credit abroad.
But Italy isn't interested?
It's not that way but in Italy this what they proposed were always tricks that don't have anything to do with art but with ruse, with the instrumentalization of my name. I didn't like that, I've always wanted to be an artist and the compromises didn't please me.
Time has shown you're right.
I think yes. But it wasn't easy to cope with the continuing banishment that was made in your home. They overdosed it and I have all there: so many closed books that I don't want to open anymore.
We hope that our love songs bring back serenity
"I didn't think that you could achieve so much. I'm optimist by nature and I've always felt as a part of peace. Until the end I've believed that the fight wouldn't break out. It's terrible, in these first days when I like everyone also stood clinged in front of the TV to follow the last news from the Persian Golf and I've seen the first images of the fight, I've felt a profound horror. Then when I saw the mother of Captain Cocciolone I came to think of all mothers, of all women, of the children that live in the tormented places of the conflict and also of the soldiers that combat at the front, I've imagined their torments and I felt bad. For days I couldn't manage to close my eyes and I couldn't eat a bit either."
Romina Power shakes her head as if to chase away these dismal thoughts, in her very beautiful eyes there's a shadow that we didn't know. Next to her is her inseparable companion Al Bano that thinks in the same way.
"It's incredible how the man still bears these impulses of violence and suppression of his fellow human beings inside him, fight is the most stupid and most terrible thing that the man has invented, it is an heritage of a primitive culture, immature to die. We must fight against war and demand with grand voice that this comes to an end fast."
"Yes, the war mustn't go on for a minute longer. Death and destruction are already sowed and terrible and maybe irreparable damage to the nature, the earth, the animals is made. I want with all my strength that Saddam and other mighty people of this world understand that we can't go on like this and I beg so that a solution is found as fast as possible", concludes Romina Power giving voice to a message that is in all of our hearts, a message of peace and good will.
Our interview goes on with alternating answers of Romina and Al Bano, who explain their points of view almost with one voice.
How do you experience these terrible events? Do you have two different ways to oppose them or do you have a single way?
"Romina is more passionate than me. She, as a woman, feels the horror of war like something that affects her directly, as a mother not only as a person. I on the other hand tend to rationalize more, but I feel the same horror."
The next engagements
Has something of your life, your work changed since the war began?
"The war", Al Bano answers, "has begun while we were away from home. We were in Germany where we had to give some concerts. In Berlin two were cancelled because of security reasons and also our television special was postponed. But this has happened in the first days, now we can start to work again normally. It's right that we continue to live also when everyone of us spends hours of worry and it's impossible, on the contrary it would be wrong, to distance from the thoughts of war."
What are your working projects now? Will everything go on as planned?
"We want that. 1991 is a year rich of engagements and new things for us. Different projects will be finished on which we have worked on intensively in the past years and to which we attach great importance. Our book, a television special, a new LP, Sanremo..."
As called for, about Sanremo: Soon, in less than a month you'll be at the Festival di San Remo. With which feeling do you go there and what is your song?
"Our feeling is great optimism as usual. We are literally taken by the song that we present and we have confidence that it will be liked by the audience too. It's called "Oggi Sposi" and it talks about love. It's a very poetic lyrics, very beautiful, different from our last songs. Maybe that's why it has convinced us immediately. So when Depsa, who is the author of the words and the music, has offered it to us we accepted immediately.
"The major part of our songs is written by ourselves, at least in 80 % of the cases", intervenes Romina to be precise. "This one was composed completely by Depsa and we, in opposite to many other artists, didn't want to appear as authors. It's a question of correctness that gets neglected in our milieu often. "Oggi Sposi", even when it has a title that seems banal, is not at all so. It's a rich piece, happy, it's a classic piece of the Italian song, a melodic piece that makes you want to hear it, dancing on the tiles, embraced with the ones that you love."
Who is going to be your partner?
"First we thought of an American singer that is also our friend. But now things have changed a bit in the organization of the Festival and, probably, there won't be foreign singers this time and so for now the name of our partner is still a secret. It will be a surprise and a we hope it is one for all besides us."
Let's go on with your projects. Do you want to talk about your book, Romina?
"Of course, with great pleasure. It's entitled "Al Bano & Romina Power, Autoritratto Dalla A Alla R". We've written it four- handed and we're working on it for at least 1 ½ years. As the title says, the book is about us two, our story, our two families, our feelings, our work, our past and our future. The volume is illustrated with a lot of photos. I'm very satisfied with the final result and I think it's a nice book not only for our admirers. For us to write it, also if we made it in the free time between one tour and the other, was a way to look into our souls and exchange memories, impressions, moments that belong to the past but that still live in us."
Let's go to the film for television?
"Behind this film are three years of work", Romina responds again. "In three years we have put together a lot of material on our career but also on our private life, our love story and our children. Then we have collected also film clips of family videos when my father was still in my life. Nobody has seen that before and I think that they are very interesting."
Work and family
Is there a new LP too then?
"Yes, it's a new work that I wish will be liked very much", responds Al Bano this time. "And it's not finished. After the efforts of Sanremo, starting in March we will be busy with the new tour that will take us through Europe, to Germany and Austria until May 7."
How many engagements! Do you find time to stay with your children also?
"This is our main engagement, never neglect our children and not stay away for too long from them, especially Cristel and Romina, who are still so young", Al Bano continues. "If we stay only for some days we take them with us. I'm considering myself a very good baby sitter and I do that voluntarily, first because I like to stay with my children and play with them, then because I believe it's a clear duty of a father to help his wife. I have the opinion that to raise the children well it's necessary that the parents are really present, responsible and try to provide all the love but also rules, principles and moral values. I'm a father that, when he spends three or four days without seeing his children, becomes a wild animal in a cage: I miss them so much that I spontaneously have to kiss and cuddle the son of someone else and it surprises me to be moved to see the laughter and crying of an unknown child. Certainly, the job of parents is not easy, like it's not easy to be a good husband or a good son. But if you have the will, if you decide from the bottom of your heart to do it well, then I believe that you are on the right way and that you stand behind it, son, wife, father. You understand and change that again with the same medal. [?]"
Romina Power laughs and stretches her hand out to touch Al Bano's. "If I had been born as a man, I would have liked to be like Al Bano", she reveals at a low voice. "I consider him an extraordinary person. For me he's everything: husband, working partner, ally, brother and in some cases even the father that I have lost too soon. We both have our characters and it would be stupid to hide that there are also contrasts between us. It can happen that we discuss and sometimes even quarrel vividly. Maybe we hold the [broccio ?], but then we reconcile regularly. We love each other and we respect us very much because it can be different, but in the end we manage to talk about it with calm and find the middle way between our points of view. In our marriage we don't take anything as foreseeable, we have learned to renew our relationship day after day. And seeing that it works for more than 20 years, it shows that ours is the winning formula. Maybe if it worked that way also between mighty people of the world, there wouldn't be any more wars.!"
Cristel and Mother Teresa
[Translation of the relevant part only]
I'm a friend of the singer Al Bano. A friendship that rose from the beginning of his carrier and that has always stayed very deep. In fact I was the witness to his marriage and he was in the baptizing of one of my children.
On Christmas Day 1985 Al Bano became father for the third time, of a magnificent girl that he called Cristel. It was a period in which the singer was very busy and never found the time to organize the baptism of his little child. He wanted to make it a big festivity in Cellino San Marco, his birth place. He dreamed to organize a baptism in a little church that he had built on his land, but at the same time, being very religious, he feared that the sacred ceremony of baptism would be transformed into a mundane party, with the presence of photographers, journalists and cameras, as it was for his wedding and also partly for the baptism of the two other children. And so, waiting for the occasion to organize this ceremony in the right way the time passed. One day, in March 1986, Al Bano confided me his preoccupations and asked me to help him to organize a beautiful ceremony for the baptism of Cristel.
"It must be a beautiful religious festivity", he said, "far away from the curiosity of the people. Then, don't tell anybody. I understand that the public wants to know, wants to see. I'll satisfy them shooting one photo only that will be distributed to everybody."
"I'll see what I can do", I answered.
I knew that Al Bano and Romina Power had a big admiration for Mother Teresa and I thought to organize the baptism of Cristel in Rome and ask Mother Teresa to be the godmother of the little Carrisi. Thinking of the appointments of Mother Teresa, of her being reserved, it seemed an impossible dream, but the Mother used to surprise me and decided to try. I talked about it with monsignor Hnilca, who showed to be happy. In his time he talked with Mother Teresa who answered that, being religious, couldn't be the godmother in the swearing sense but could take part in the ceremony, as a "spiritual godmother". And so it happened. The baptism was celebrated in Rome by monsignor Paolo Hnilica and mother Teresa was the spiritual godmother to the little Cristel who during the rite got the names of Cristel, Maria Chiara and Teresa.
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