Christmas music brings back sweet memories and adds a feeling of nostalgia to the season.
This year Downtown had a chance to sit with Giada Valenti, an award-winning singer and songwriter, born and raised in Venice, Italy. She is best known for her stunning television special “From Venice With Love” on PBS, which, since its debut in December 2015, has aired close to 2,000 times all around the United States. Giada, who sings and speaks in five languages, always takes her audience on a romantic journey, performing her interpretations of hits from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and today.
Record Label Sony BMG signed Giada when she was a young singer in Europe. Her hits climb directly to the top of the charts. She has received awards such as the prestigious San Remo Giovanni Talenti Nel Mondo and Festival di Castrocaro. For the past thirteen years, Giada, currently a resident of Las Vegas, has released her CDs “And I Love You So,” “Italian Signorina,” and “My Lullaby,” garnering rave reviews. She has been featured on morning shows like ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, where she does cooking demos, often making her famous tiramisu while talking about her new CD and PBS special.
The people of Italy continue their love affair with Giada–particularly the press, who continuously follow her career and cover her on Italian media and television. In 2017 she made her debut in Las Vegas with a concert at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. In 2018 she made her debut at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Giada, a former downtown resident, is coming back to New York on December 15th, performing at The Loreto Theater at 3:00 PM. At the time of this interview, there were still tickets available.
Downtown Magazine: What do you love about performing in New York City?
Giada Valenti: Well, there is no place like NYC at Christmas time, and as a matter of fact, there is no place like NYC at any time of the year. NYC is like my second home. For a year, I lived in Las Vegas, but I lived in downtown Manhattan for 11 years. I have so many fans and friends that are like family to me. NYC has a special place in my heart, next to Venice, where I was born. I travel a lot and perform all over the USA and Europe, but to perform in NYC for me is special, it’s like performing at home.
DT: What can our readers expect from this holiday special concert?
GV: If I have to describe the show with a few words, I can use the words that my audience express often after the Concerts. They say that it’s like being on another planet for two hours, a planet filled with love, peace, and joy. They thank me for rekindling in each of them the hope that true love exists and for reminding them what Christmas is all about. The show is entitled “LOVE Under the Christmas Tree.” I gave the show this title because I think that the true meaning of Christmas is love. I will sing some of the most beloved Christmas songs, and all those songs are linked to stories of love, love for each other, and love for life. And there is a lot of joy and fun. I think that to laugh makes us more beautiful. Love and laughs will be surely one the air.
DT: We hear that you use to live in the downtown area shortly after 9/11. So much has changed in our beautiful area, have you been back since, and if you would tell us a few of your favorite places downtown?
GV: Yes, I moved to NYC from London in 2005, and I lived at One West Street, across from The Battery. I travel back to NYC a few times a year. I was just there in October for one of my concerts at Carnegie Hall. I always find the time to make a trip downtown. A lot has changed but a few things have stayed the same and always will for me. There’s the feeling of Europe downtown. I really love NYC, but downtown is my favorite part of the city. It still feels home.
The historic district and old building’s around Wall Street. I love to stroll on Stone Street, stop into one of the little places for coffee and a bite. I have a love for Battery Park, it’s New York City’s best-kept secret. Many of my Italian friends are unaware of this area. They all love it when I send them down to Battery Park City to take in the Boardwalk. It has some of the most incredible views of the Statue of Liberty, New Jersey, oh and the beautiful trees that you can see down there. You get the feeling like your not in Manhattan at all. No sounds of cars, only of children, playing and running around.
I’m a history lover, and downtown is where New York got its start. Rich in history down with both the Italian and Dutch. I’m married to a Dutchman, and I lived in Amsterdam for five years. We love that there is a strong Dutch connection to downtown Manhattan.
There is also a Venetian connection to downtown. I know a glassmaker in my hometown Venice, that still has one of the beautiful colorful “glass coins” it’s believed that the Dutch used to give these to the Indians in exchange for Manhattan land. I believe there is an antic drawing of this exchange.
One of the architects of the UN Studio who built the New Amsterdam Plein and Pavilion is the husband of my sister in law in Amsterdam. My husband and I both feel so connected to Manhattan and more so to the downtown area.
One day I would like to have “a pied-à-Terre” in NYC, and it surely will be down here.
Hurry to get your tickets, or give the gift of romance and nostalgia this year before the holidays. The perfect holiday gift, tickets to see Giada Valenti perform ” Love Under The Christmas Tree” live in New York.
Sunday, December 15, 2019 Tickets: $35/$45/$55