The Rise of Medici at Parkvilla Theatre Alphen a/d Rijn January 26, 2024

Standing ovations proved the first Imaginaerium  concert was a huge succes! There was also little left at the merchandise table which was also excellent. Certainly because they never performed together. Yes, Clive Nolan made and makes records with singer Laura Piazzai and Andy Sears, but things were different with guitarist Simone Milliava and Marijke Groenendaal. After a week of hard work in the rehearsal room, the program was rock solid and sounded absolutely great. So before the break it was Clive Nolan and Friends. Nolan, with or without his fellow musicians, told stories about his career, with a good portion of his typical English humor. Songs from Arena, and his musicals came along with, of course, nightmares about zombies. Excellent performances with beautiful vocals, subtle guitar work, beautiful piano playing and a fine demonstration of Laura Piazzai’s power voice. No one thought it was a problem that this part ran 20 minutes!

After the break things started with the live world premiere of The Rise of Medici by Imaginaerium, the project by Laura Piazzai and Clive Nolan. The rock opera that initially was the idea of the late guitarist Eric Bouillette. Eric became ill and through Laura Piazzai they came to Clive Nolan, who shaped and finished the work. Unfortunately, it was not financially possible to perform the whole trock opera with a full band. This became the light version. Without instruments (except Simone Milliava’s guitars) but with a great backing track. Andy Sears as Cosimo, Marijke Groenendaal as Lucrezia, guitarist Simone Milliava, Clive Nolan as Rinaldo and Laura Piazzai as Contessina performed The Rise of Medici. Clive Nolan was completely in his element as Rinaldo “I finally can play a baddy”. Beautiful voices and costumes, wonderful guitar solos by the very young Simone Milliava, and music that pressed you to the back of your seat in full admiration. And then those standing ovations. Completely deserved.

Photo by Arthur Haggenburg