A nice little concert with about 2,500 people in Udine’s gracious antique castle with Canada’s (and Manitoba’s!) very own Loreena McKennitt. Loreena had come to Udine area back in 1996 and had left quite the nice impression. She certainly did once again as the fans present appeared to be indeed most appreciative of her 2-hour performance (and backed-up by a supporting band made up of 9 great musicians). She no doubt felt quite at home as her music consists of the Celtic nature, and here in Udine, the Celts were very much at home many moons ago. The production of the concert, as described by a local paper in Udine, was defined as being “super”! Loreena played a total of 17 songs, alternating between the piano, the harp and the accordion.
But the interesting thing about the concert it what happened after. As she sang her last encore, Lorreena was seen whisked away by some assistants to a nearby lodging in front of the stage where she went to change and perhaps to a get a bite to eat. She finally came down the stairs and was surrounded by a small mob of adoring fans. In true Italian nature (and she must have REALLY loved this one!), many kissed her on the cheek and also took pics with her. I on the other hand had brought my 1988 map of Manitoba as I had found out through reading the local papers that she was actually born in the town of Morden, located some 70 kms or so from my hometown and Manitoba’s capital, Winnipeg (I also think that Morden had when I was living there some sort of mini-stampede). So I approached her and said: ”This is probably THE strangest thing you’ve ever autographed”!, and showed her the map of Manitoba! At which point she naturally laughed and asked me where I was from (she’s been living for years in Stratford, Ontario). I told her that I try to “push” Canada as much as I can in Italy, and no doubt she was very happy to hear that (all pics. by M. Rimati).