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Mantovani and his Orchestra

Updated on January 26, 2013

The Magic of Mantovani Orchestra

The information here comes from two people who know all there is to know about Annunzio Paulo Mantovani and his music.

Paul Barrett and Franck Leprince.

Here is an introduction about the two biggest Mantovani and his Orchestra fans (report from 2009):

IT'S incredible the amount of effort fans put into the objects or persons of their desire, from the shrieking presence of lovesick music devotees - think Elvis, the Beatles, Duran Duran, Michael Jackson - to the overwhelming phenomenon of Harry Potter, which saw millions queuing up for hours in the dead of night, all for a book.

Paul Barrett's tale is definitely one of great fanaticism. The 63-year-old promoter of Mantovani's Orchestra - which will be back in concert at Poole's Lighthouse in January - is passionate about the music of Annunzio-Paulo Mantovani, a composer, arranger and conductor who was wildly popular between the 1950s and 1970s.

At the tender age of 13, Lancashire-born Paul fell in love with the drums after watching a Mantovani Orchestra performance and seeing Mantovani's long-standing percussionist Charles Botterill in action.

"He was a one-man percussionist. He did everything himself, from playing the snare drum to the xylophone to the bells, with hardly any time to move from one to the other," says the now-retired businessman. "I wondered, how come this man does it all on his own?"

So impressed was Botterill with Paul's enthusiasm for his craft that he took the boy under his wing, training him for several years. Paul went on to become a part-time percussionist with the Sheffield theatre orchestra, but he never forgot his dream of one day playing in Mantovani's Orchestra.

In addition to painstakingly buying up Botterill's original instruments (and replicating those he couldn't find), Paul saved money throughout his working years in the hope that one day he could put it towards reviving and hosting concerts of Mantovani's work.

Then in 2006, a chance meeting with professional violinist Franck Leprince set his project in motion. Leprince, also a big fan of Mantovani's work, had previously been the leader of two prestigious orchestras - the Royal Artillery Orchestra (the oldest surviving orchestra in Britain) and the internationally renowned Royal Military School of Music. Using his industry contacts, he began searching for musicians and a conductor, and he persuaded OBE winner Sam Newgarth to take up the conductor's mantle.

Meanwhile, Paul plunged £16,000 into the concert. With his limited budget, and the fact that Mantovani's music hadn't been presented live in the UK for more than 20 years, there were naysayers aplenty, certain that the concert would flop.

"I'm a gambler, I believe in taking chances," says Paul. "Many people would be frightened about losing a lot of money, but not me. I never did it for the profit."

Despite the limited budget, Franck managed to secure the best of local musicians, and even persuaded a few to come down from London. They also roped in Champions' bombshell Alexandra Bastedo and TV presenter Ed Stewart to present. Best of all, Mantovani's son, Ken Mantovani, allowed Paul and Franck free use of his father's original scores.

They held the Magic of Mantovani concert at the Lighthouse, Poole on January 27, in honour of Mantovani, who moved to Branksome Park in Poole in his later years. It was a sell-out and they received a standing ovation.

But it was only the beginning.

In addition to many letters and heartfelt accounts from other Mantovani fans, Paul and Franck had a windfall of luck. American businessman Richard Cox, another lifelong Mantovani fan, approached them. Since 2001, he had been travelling around the world to see concerts of Mantovani's music and after attending the concert at the Lighthouse, he decided he would fund the next Mantovani concert they produced.

"I was elated," says Paul. "Richard was so thrilled by the way we captured the original sound of Manto-vani's Orchestra that he said to me, You tell me what you need, and I'll provide it. I don't care what it costs, I'll pay for it. All I want is to hear that sound, the way it used to be'."

With the bigger budget available to them, Franck and Paul have been able to greatly improve the quality of next year's concert. Concert goers can look forward to Mantovani's works played by the cream of Europe's musicians, such as Eddie Hession, Ian MacKinnen (Mantovani's original violinist) and Gordon Campbell.

And on top of funding the concert, Richard decided that the next concert should be recorded on DVD and marketed worldwide. To that end, he is sending in a film crew to record the show in high definition, even bringing in pioneering digital media inventor Philip Cacayorin.

"In the old days people went to see music played live - you had to be there to experience it," says Philip, who helped create the first CD-Rom and has produced music for major record labels and artistes like U2 and Barbara Streisand, and recently worked on the Beijing Olympics.

"Technology wasn't good enough before to capture the sound and recreate the experience, but with my new virtual reality system, I'll be able to recreate a 3-D theatrical experience so that you feel like you're there, and all with one microphone," he says.

Philip has been working on his microphone patent for the last 10 years, and his invention will be the direct competitor of leading theatrical sound system manufacturers THX and Dolby.

"There's a big market for this kind of light music and Mantovani has a big fan base in Asia, particularly China and Japan," says Philip. "I am certain this DVD will be marketable worldwide."

Magic of Mantovani Orchestra
Magic of Mantovani Orchestra

Brand New Mantovani Fan Club

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Paul, Franck and Martyn will be running a brand new Internet newsletter for fans of Mantovani and his Orchestra music everywhere.

You can join our YouTube channel at

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Mantovani on Amazon - Concert DVDs & More Mantovnai

You can keep up to date with all things 'Mantovani Music' on the main website and products from Amazon.

There may be more products on Amazon's UK website.

Mantovani Concert 2013 - Get Tickets For This Special Event

Mantovani Plays Swinging 60s
Mantovani Plays Swinging 60s

Mantovani, Golden Hits Of The Sixties, From Beatles to Bond,

will be performed at the Bournemouth Pavilion on

Sunday 14th April 2013, 7.30pm. Book Now!

Preview Joy Tobing's Wonderful Song

We are delighted to announce the uk premiere of this stunning new singer; winner of

Indonesian Pop Idol.

Joy will make her debut appearance with the Magic Of Mantovani Orchestra

In a brand new concert for 2013.

The international hit song 'Loves Promised Land' will see Joy perform the uk

premiere at the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre on Sunday April 14th 2013 at 7.30pm.

Mantovani Orchestra Playing Charmaine - Live From Poole Lighthouse Theatre UK

Wonderful video clips from recent DVDs are shown here. This is the UKs Mantovani Orchestra featuring the instruments and scores from the original orchestra with Mantovani himself.

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