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Opra Mediterranea biography
Based on the biography from the band's website:

OPRA MEDITERRANEA was formed in 2010, the result of the merger of some bands from the Empoli area, in the greater Florentine metropolitan area. The styles are diverse, from jazz to metal, classical music and of course the progressive that unites and personalizes them--evident in a symphonic prog version of I Giardini di Marzo by Lucio Battisti which is found on the track list of a compilation of local artists .

That track provided the impetus for Mattia Braghero (singer and frontman), Manuele Mecca (drums), Lorenzo Morelli (bass), Federico Ferrara (guitars) and Michael Aiosa (piano, keyboards, synthesizers), who decided to start composing their own material. The gestation of their 2019 debut album Isole will be long but with very positive signs along the way: two tracks Lettera and Numeri Primi are included in the compilations of Florentine artists Yes We Campus, Vol. 1 and 2 ( Universal), songs that will lead the band to victory as best emerging Italian artist of 2018 at the FIM in Milan. The tours combined with the two compilations (2017 and 2018) will see the band playing throughout Italy, closing the concerts as the headlining act.


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4.59 | 9 ratings

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 Isole by OPRA MEDITERRANEA album cover Studio Album, 2019
4.59 | 9 ratings

Opra Mediterranea Rock Progressivo Italiano

Review by andrea
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Opra Mediterranea come from Empoli and took form in 2010 on the initiative of musicians previously involved in other projects who teamed up following their common passion for progressive rock. They soon started working on original compositions but it wasn't until 2019 that they finally managed to self-release their interesting debut album entitled "Isole" with a consolidated line up featuring Michael Aiosa (piano, keyboards, synth), Mattia Braghero (vocals, harmonica), Federico Ferrara (electric and acoustic guitar), Manuele Mecca (drums, percussion) and Lorenzo Morelli (bass) plus the guests Francesca Della Vecchia (backing vocals), Francesco Pipia and Marco Giampieretti (who both contributed to the intermezzo on the title track with sound effects). It's a fine conceptual work dealing with solitude and incommunicability that blends melody, complex musical structures and poetry in a very effective way. According to the liner notes, "We are the islands, agglomerations of experiences and memories stuck into the sea. Navigating in sight of the archipelago of relationships, in an alienating everyday life, that same space that seems to keep us apart binds us irremediably". The artwork, taken from a picture by Katrin Korfmann, tries to express the concept in a visual form...

The opener "Lettera" (Letter) starts by strummed acoustic guitar and soaring synth sounds then the soaring vocals begin to paint images of dusty urban labyrinths in a cosmos of electric shocks, pulsations and sexual impulses... It's the world where lives a man who browses the skies and reattaches the tesserae of a mosaic picked up on the street, a man who is an island wherever he goes carrying his burden of dreams and discomfort... The music and the poetical lyrics draw emotional landscapes where the survival instinct might show you a way out from chaos and invite you to listen to the others, to speak the language of soul and to dig the bottom of your humanity to reach the deepest sense of Love...

Then the dramatic "Marionetta" (Marionette) conjures up the image of a solitary puppet hanging by an invisible and motionless thread and looking for another reality... The music starts softly, as if the puppet was waking up from a long sleep. He's alive and wonders who he is the maker of the false world that surrounds him, who is moving his muscles and destroying him like a synthetic dizziness... The tension rises, the rhythm becomes heavier as the marionette realizes he's just the slave of an emotional void, the chrysalis of a man without imagination. He will never know who the architect is, where the world runs or if hell is comfortable. But something overcomes the din and floods his soul, something burns in his veins now. He screams, tears off his chains and breaks through... It's never too late, you have to switch off the power and connect your soul to the heart to be free...

A delicate acoustic guitar passage introduce the following "Numeri primi" (Prime numbers), a bittersweet piece that deals with a problematic relationship between a man and a woman... Two twin souls trapped by fate into unknown bodies, two parallel lines, two solitudes divided by the wall of normality. Step after step they get closer and closer but are never able to reach each other... This track was inspired by Paolo Giordano's novel "La solitudine dei numeri primi" (The Solitude of Prime Numbers) that narrates the childhood and early adulthood of a boy and girl whose relationship is compared to prime numbers: always together, but never touching.

The long, complex "Isole" (Islands) paints in music and poetry a desperate tableau of alienation and solitude where a man is portrayed like a wreck in the mess of his room, in front of his flat screen world where there's no time nor space. He's like an island lost in the middle of the sea while from the screen a diabolical voice snakes out suggesting that the island where he's stranded is just an idea. The voice is trying to sell him a new universal logic with a thousand gadgets, the eye on the screen is like a cynical passepartout, there's no place to escape. The protagonist is overwhelmed by advertising... Litres of fake sea to give out to the beggars or a pinch of America to have more fun... His island is like the final destination of an endless journey, beyond the boundaries of time and identity where even loneliness is clouded by a freezing inner void...

The introspective "Oceano Mare" (Ocean Sea) was inspired by a 1993 novel by the Italian writer Alessandro Baricco of the same title that tells about the lives of a group of people gathered at a remote seaside hotel. The music and words evoke memories coming back from the past in front of the sea while the music alternate dreamy melodic passage to harder parts. Your thoughts can fly free on the surface of an infinite sea, but they could drown as well...

The closer, "Fammenti di una via distesa tra la terra e il mare" (Fragments of a road stretching between the land and the sea), recalls PFM and invites you to follow a hypnotic path across a nightmarish world fallen to pieces where men experience reality as if it were a video game by accumulating points and where happiness is being able to earn more than you spend... The music and words evoke the fragmented, distorted images of a dream and the faint reflections of lost memories. Time is running away as a strange music falls down from the sky like snow covering the city... At last the sound of an alarm clock and the echo of the bells of a distant church resound in the air and you can open your eyes...

On the whole, a wonderful work that grows spin after spin.

Thanks to todd for the artist addition.

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