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‘Viva Italia!’ includes a ‘wascally’ overture

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Philharmonic will celebrate the music of Italy wrapped in some Looney Tunes on Nov. 6.

Christopher Confessore will be the guest conductor with the New Mexico Philharmonic.

Christopher Confessore will be the guest conductor with the New Mexico Philharmonic.

Guest conductor Christopher Confessore will lead the musicians, including guitar soloist Colin Davin, through works by Rossini, Vivaldi, Puccini and Respighi, along with Boccherini and Mascagni at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Much of the music will be familiar to film and TV fans.

The great Elmer Fudd once chased Bugs Bunny through an opera stage door and into “The Barber of Seville,” then retitled “The Rabbits of Seville.”

When Confessore told friends he was going to conduct the opera’s famous overture, their first response was to reference that “wascally wabbit.”

“It’s Bugs Bunny’s fault,” he said with a laugh in a telephone interview from Orlando, Fla., before turning more serious.

“It’s a great example of his style, with great melodies and a long crescendo, and it’s been so well-adapted by popular culture.”

Davin will play Vivaldi’s Mandolin Concerto in C Major arranged for guitar, as well as the composer’s Guitar Concerto in D Major.

“The mandolin one especially is one of those pieces that is not quite as famous as “The Four Seasons,” but it’s right up there,” Confessore said. “It’s one of the most famous things that Vivaldi wrote.”

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