Welcome back, dear ones. I am thrilled to feature the extraordinarily talented and glamorous, Maddalena del Gobbo today! Maddalena del Gobbo is a distinguished Viola da Gamba musician, and the only Deutsche Grammophon Viola da Gamba recording artist! Ms. del Gobbo was born in Italy and now resides in Vienna, Austria.
Here’s hoping this interview brightens up your day and provides some much needed escapism.
Ms. del Gobbo, how would you describe your style? What time period inspires you most?
My style is elegant and romantic. I love pastels, lace, ribbons, and pearls. A type of modern Victorian style, with a twist.
I also admire the fashion of the 1930’s and 1940’s. Even though I like the aesthetics of that period I don’t feel comfortable in a full vintage outfit. There is a lot of make up, hair-styling, and hairspray going on, and I am a more natural person.
Generally, I look for good quality items that are not fast fashion, and I really take care of them. They must not necessarily be the most expensive. I always choose natural fabrics and classic designs I can wear for many years. I really have an aversion to polyester fabrics. They feel cheap to me and I would not feel elegant with them on.
As for my favorite designers, I normally go for high-street fashion like Zara. Especially when I am looking for new small things (like summer dresses or miniskirts for everyday). For the important purchases, like a coat or elegant cocktail dress, I normally choose either Max Mara or Luisa Spagnoli.
Being a good person, having knowledge, culture, and good manners are the most important things in life that nobody can take away from you.Maddalena del Gobbo
Luisa Spagnoli has normally a very good price/quality offer and very pretty and timeless items. For bags, at the moment, I like Aspinal of London. They have wonderfully classic but not boring bags in many colors and of very good quality.
There are no big logos on them, and they are timeless and classy. For everyday shoes I like French Sole (their opera slippers are so wonderful and uplifting) or no-name but high quality Italian shoes (there is a wonderful small shop in my city in Italy).
As a musician I also need concert dresses but I can’t get them in normal shops. They need to be custom made, or at least adapted, because of the special requirements of such a dress.
It must fit perfectly but I must breathe freely, have no strap that could slip during the performance and some other important details. Fortunately, I found two wonderful Italian designers, now also friends (Manuela Peressutti and Barbara Beltrame) who make wonderful concert dresses for me.
Who were your role models growing up?
My family was always a great inspiration to me. My parents taught me the most, but so did my grandmother and grand-aunt. I also had a special connection to my grandfather. When I was a child, I would walk with him in the countryside near the house I grew up in in Italy. He would teach me classical Italian poems and explain a lot of things about history, nature, and geology, using real-life examples.
If this sounds like something out of a 19th century novel, that’s because it was a bit like that! The most important thing I learned from my family is that one should always work on self-improvement. Being a good person, having knowledge, culture and good manners are the most important things in life that nobody can ever take away from you.
You are now based in beautiful Vienna, Austria. Could you tell us what your favorite hangouts are?
My absolute favorite café is the Café Gerstner, you would find me there several times a week (especially the salons privés on the second floor are a magical place!).
The interiors are from the 19th century, (by the same architect of the Vienna Musikverein, Theophil Hansen), and you feel there as in a dream, eating delicious cakes looking outside the window to the Vienna State Opera.
I want the music to be out there and reach the people in these difficult times! Music is hope!Maddalena del Gobbo
Another place I really like is a small and charming tea house called “Channagasse,” a few steps from the State Opera. There you can find all the fine Chinese teas and you can also have a Chinese tea ceremony.
For food, I love the Ristorante Sole, an Italian restaurant in the Annagasse, a meeting point for opera singers and musicians, (with a music loving and philanthropic owner, Aki Nuredini). And for fine dining, the Japanese restaurant Shiki, also close to the opera, owned by the violinist and conductor, Joji Hattori.
My comfort place is the Kunsthistorisches Museum, a wonderful building, filled with art from ancient Egypt to paintings from the 18th century. I have the annual ticket for this museum, and sometimes, when I need energy and a free mind I just go there and I feel better immediately.
If you are looking for a clothing brand from Austria, the Lena Hoscheck boutique is perfect! This designer has wonderful vintage inspired fashion in high quality fabrics and perfectly tailored.
What is your favorite travel destination?
I am not a globetrotter, but I was fortunate to visit many places. It is hard to say what my favorite travel destination is as all countries are special in their own way.
But for me personally, my travel to Tokyo was wonderful, as I am a fan of the Japanese culture. The respect and kindness of the Japanese, the fascination of the ancient and the modern world, and the very special food, made this destination unforgettable.
Another place I loved but could not visit properly is Istanbul. I had a concert there and could only stay for two nights. It is a fascinating place – I really hope that I can go back there soon.
And then my personal paradise: the Amalfi coast. There are no words to describe this place. Wonderful nature and sea, friendly people, history, and amazing food. Just a pity that so many tourists there are so disrespectful.
From bathing attire and beer in one hand in the city of Positano, to posing for pictures half naked in front of the main church.
I think when we travel we should always try to respect the place we are visiting and also to adapt to another culture. It is a matter of respect but also of good manners, too.
Any upcoming projects or concerts you could tell us about?
Unfortunately, all my concert plans of the next weeks got cancelled because of the Corona virus. All concert halls are closed, so all musicians lost all their concerts at the moment. Not only disappointing from an artistic perspective, but also a financial disaster for so many freelance musicians!
I really hope to be able to play my concerts from May on, but who knows! In September, I have some concerts as a soloist with orchestra in Switzerland. I am very much looking forward to this. I will play concerti by Giuseppe Tartini and Nicola Porpora – really wonderful music!
In the meantime, I will try to make some uplifting videos on my social media and maybe also play some online live-concerts. I want the music to be out there and I want to reach the people. In these difficult times it is even more important! Music is hope!
xoxo, Mrs. Hannover
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