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A Stradivari for the Moon

Earlier this month, our amazing Italian office helped to organise the most beautiful concert for our bears: “Uno Stradivari per la Luna” (A Stradivari for the Moon).

The concert was held on Friday 6th November at Carlo Felice Opera House in Genoa and was organised by our Animals Asia office in Italy in cooperation with the Carlo Felice Foundation, the Genoa Science Festival, and the Pro Canale Foundation (responsible for the conservation and management of one of the most important collection of musical instruments in the world), which provided the Stradivari violin.

Carmen, who represents us in Italy, gave an inspiring speech with the concluding words:
“Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods? Draw near them then in being merciful. Sweet mercy is nobility’s true badge.” – William Shakespeare (Titus Andronicus)

And then the concert began with Maestro Pavel Berman (solo Violin and Conductor), with the Violin Antonio Stradivari, Cremona 1716, Marechal Berthier, owned by Alexandre Berthier, Marshal of France and Prince of Neuchatel, who was given the precious instrument by Napoleon Bonaparte, probably as booty from the war in Spain (the violin is worth 3 million euros);

The programme featured Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Ouverture Le Ebridi / Concerto per violino e orchestra op.64 in mi minore; Johannes Brahms, Sinfonia n.3 in fa maggiore op.90.

Attended by Gill from our UK office, the pictures speak for themselves. Carmen, Irene, Antonello and team bless your hearts for so tirelessly helping to organise a performance where Delaney – our gorgeous “wuss” of a bear – took centre stage.

Here’s what Gill wrote about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share wonderful music for the love of bears:

2009 has been an incredibly busy year for my lovely Italian colleagues and it reached a massive crescendo on Friday with their spectacular Stradivari concert in Genoa in aid of the bears, which I was privileged to attend.

I was completely speechless (a rarity I know!) when the full orchestra started to play, and with Delaney overseeing proceedings it was incredibly powerful and emotional, something I will never forget. I only wish everyone could have experienced it. Well done Italy it was an incredible evening. You should be very proud!! Big love Gill x

Although I had to miss the concert, I was in Genoa for the press conference at the beautiful Theatre Standard, which proudly hung from its façade the concert poster featuring our lovely China bear Lexa. Here with our Italian Director Irene, Animal Welfare Director Dave and Carmen:

Below is the poster in close-up. I thought you might also enjoy the fabulous invitation (featuring Bao Be) and programme cover (featuring Delaney). And just look at how the foyer was decorated with giant-sized photos of our bears:


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