Famed Italian tenor introduces public to new auditorium at AHS

Alberto Profeta

Renowned opera singer Alberto Profeta performed before as many as 150 people as the first guest artist in Arlington High School's new 826-seat auditorium Thursday, Sept. 29, introduced by Jing-Huey Wei, the new high school’s performing arts director, and Sabatino “Tino” D’Agostino the band and orchestra teacher.

D’Agostino accompanied Profeta on bass, along with a band consisting of Maxim Lubarsky on piano, Salvatore DiFusco on guitar, Sergio Bellotti on drums and former AHS student Gaetano Zagami on percussion.

D’Agostino said he hopes that this concert will be the “first of many” at Arlington High, and he reminded the audience that the Italian Soul Festival is to take place at the new Auditorium on Nov. 9. 

At the start, the band had feet tapping, the crowd grinning. Still, the band appeared to have the best time. Fully invested in the music they were playing, moving, swinging, making faces and bantering with each other; it was enthralling to watch.

Entering with a humble bow, Profeta began the night with the theme from the 1972 film “The Godfather.” Following that was Puccini's “Nessun Dorma,” which drew a cheer from the audience immediately. After that, Bellotti's drum solo had many on the edge of their seats. 

Profeta performed alongside his longtime friend Ross Zagami, as a thank you, and Arlington High School's Van Teager guest-starred on bass with the band in between Profeta's performances. Teager was unable to escape a humble exit, as Profeta brought Teager up to the front of the stage for a second round of applause.

While Profeta does not speak much English, his sense of humor came through clearly, engaging the audience to sing along during his performance of “Volare,” the 1958 pop hit by Domenico Modugno, and cutting in every so often to show off his other talent, bird sounds, cracking up many in the audience. 

Before his last song, Profeta thanked the chorus students of AHS for being so respectful during his master class earlier in the school day, and the band, for sharing their talent. D’Agostino thanked everyone who was able to make this short-notice concert possible: ACMi, the performing arts department, the janitors, the band and anyone else involved. With that Profeta closed the night on a joyous note, with “Cella Luna,” a comic Sicilian song.

During that appearance, he was the  headliner, with backing by D'Agostino on bass, among others.

Luciano Pavarotti, the famed operatic tenor who died in 2007, said about Profeta, according to a publicist: "You have a beautiful voice. You will be a great tenor and go far."

Profeta has performed at some of the major operatic venues around the world, including Massimo Theatre and Pavarotti Theater (Italy), Madrid Theatre (Spain), Bolshoy Theatre (Moscow), Verdi Theatre (Italy) and Opera House (Japan). 

June 9, 2018: Will there ever be another 'D'?

This news announcement was published Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, based on information from Tino D'Agostino and public sources. It was updated to a news summary by Isla Jamieson, YourArlington's Arlington High School intern for fall 2022.

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