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Česko Slovensko má talent: and a British contestant

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Last Monday, the Prague Monitor was lucky enough to catch-up with the “UK Contestant” in the upcoming Česko Slovensko má talent contest, scheduled for broadcast on Saturday, December 7th 20:20. The television show casts various artists and talented people, old and young, to pass auditions, then impress four judges, and then the whole country, in a live televised final. We came to find out who this mysterious finalist is, what he does, and what propelled him to enter a contest in Czechoslovakia, a country that split up 26 years ago, only to be reunified through love of music and art.
Daniel Zappi, our expat contestant, is soft spoken and mellow yet emotional and can hit the vocals hard. His Curt Cobain Live in New York type sweater, curly hair, and openness, set the mood for a fun evening getting to know each other. Where else to start then the famous “where ye from?”

Daniel is English/Italian, and bobbed between the two countries for most of his life. From the Oxford School of Drama to working in a theatre in Rome, listening and writing music everywhere, and even playing and singing his songs on the streets of London. Daniel wound up working in a program where he brought theatre and music to children across the continent – as far away as Russia! As if that was not enough, Daniel managed to find a wonderful Slovak wife, have two children and move to the beautiful city of Prague.

Prague is where Daniel settled, what he now calls home. Finding his dream job as the Artist in Residence at the Riverside International School in Prague 6, he teaches music and theatre to all ages of students. This fulfills his desire to bring some emotion to everyone, share his experience, and create the opportunity for young people to do the same. The school campuses have great equipment, instruments and facilities, so students can maximize what Mr. Zappi encourages them to do.

Naturally everyone wants more and when Daniel heard of Česko Slovensko má talent, he decided to audition. His choice of Lucio Dalla’s Caruso won over the judge’s hearts, and your correspondent. The wonderful story of how Lucio Dalla was stranded, incidentally, on the Italian Almafi Coast at the luxurious Excelsior Vittoria Hotel. He soon learned that he was staying in the same room as the infamous Italian Tenor Enrico Caruso shortly before his death. After hearing the story, Lucio was inspired to write a song about Caruso, including the additional information from the hotel staff that Caruso had a particular affection and relationship with one of his female apprentices. The delta of time here spans about 70 years as Caruso died in 1921, almost a hundred years ago, and Dalla wrote the song in 1986. One can almost feel the emotion, and one’s own heartbeat, when hearing it from Daniel. The truth is that Italian music always has a great sense of emotion, but even in Daniel’s own music, in English, it is clear that he means what he is singing about. He gave us the opportunity to hear a song live and although this video does not give the emotion justice, it was a spectacular performance!
And that is what Daniel is all about. The moment: sharing it, with his listeners, in his music, with the performance, for his students and to his peers.

During the qualifying auditions, Daniel got the “golden button,” meaning an automatic ticket into the finals. The successful pass to the finals is available on youtube:

The judges were impressed and Daniel Zappi‘s career in the Czech and Slovak Republics is on the move. We wish him luck and after what we felt, saw and heard in that music studio near Hradcanska Metro, we believe he has what it takes – to be the first foreigner to win Česko Slovensko má talent!

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