Antonella Ruggiero turns 70: 'I would sing forever, but don't look at me'

Antonella Ruggiero with Matia Bazar conquered the scene. She left them at the height of success: «I couldn't stand the pressure and the routine. And if it were up to me, I'd sing behind a screen.' At the dawn of 70 she takes stock: «I did what I wanted, without being muzzled»


Antonella Ruggiero with Matia Bazar conquered the scene. At the dawn of 70 she takes stock: «I did what I wanted, without being muzzled». Here is the interview on TODAY.

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«I have never celebrated birthdays, but I have always thought about the beginning of a new decade. Now one begins that takes me into the autumn of life and I like that. I did what I wanted, without anyone muzzling me. Having had the opportunity to express myself has been the great privilege of my life.
Antonella Ruggiero turns 70 with joy, always on stage. «They are all different concerts, I go from voice and instrument to large orchestras, from choirs to sacred music, I never get bored». Her artistic life is divided into two parts: the 14 years with Matia Bazar, which she leaves in 1989 at the height of her success, and her solo career which restarts from 1996 with the album free (a title that is a program).
On November 11, a double vinyl is released that sums them both up: it is the re-release of Modern recordings , made in 1997, in which he sang the hits of Matia Bazar as a soloist in duets with groups such as Subsonica, Bluvertigo, Timoria.

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And to think she wanted to be a painter.
“I wanted to devote myself to drawing. I was just singing to myself and didn't think I was performing. Then in Genoa, my city, I met at a Pfm concert those who would become my partners for 14 years, we formed the group and off we went».

What family was his?
“My father was a craftsman. But music and art have always been in my parents' life, even if they were unable to express this passion».

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The best memory of the years spent with Matia Bazar?
'The travels. There are places in the world where we have given concerts that have now been profoundly changed if not destroyed, such as Syria for example. We played in the Soviet Union when the sports halls filled up, full of people who wanted to listen to western music, with the police not allowing one step towards the artists».

Any other memories?
«Once in Rome, shortly after the killing of Aldo Moro, we ran by car towards the airport in Rome because we thought we would miss the plane. The police stopped us and with their machine guns leveled they made us get off and asked for our documents. It was a time of terror, especially in big cities.'

Was she comfortable playing the diva of the group?
«I have never felt the need to get on stage to say: here I am, look at me. The stage is where the concerts take place, period. If it were up to me I would perform behind a screen. Exhibitionism is part of the art world, but not for me, I find it ridiculous.'

You left Matia Bazar because you couldn't stand the routine and the pressure from the record companies.
«Those are the rules that still apply today, if one wants to reach large numbers. In 1996 I resumed making music unrelated to those obligations, with my own label. So I do what I want.'

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Never seen your colleagues from Matia Bazar again?
“Only at the funerals of two of them. But when you live a period of life intensely with someone, the memories are indelible. You don't see people anymore, but it's like it was yesterday.'

Her husband is the producer Roberto Colombo, with whom she is also linked professionally. How did she know him?
«In 1982 we called him to arrange Remove and Aristocratic , two beautiful records, the best of Matia Bazar. We worked together, then everyone moved on with his life. At the end of the 1980s, however, the story changed between us».

Do you like today's music?
“Nothing surprises me. My generation was overwhelmed by real, exceptional things, now everything has already been seen, already heard. It would take artists and interpretations that would make one's mouth open in amazement; maybe there are, but hidden. The media and those who want to sell don't go looking for them. They take, they use, they put in the spotlight, and then what? Go away there is another one. It's an assembly line, a horrible thing.'