Sanremo, the pianist Giovanni Allevi: “I have lost everything, not hope”. And he goes back to playing

He goes on stage and the Ariston bursts into one of the longest applause of this Festival. Giovanni Allevi chose Sanremo (LIVE UPDATES – THE SKY TG24 SPECIAL) to return to playing after almost two years, the most difficult for him: those of the diagnosis of multiple myeloma. Before playing his Tomorrow, he thanked the doctors who helped him, the patients who like him share the experience of the disease: “Warriors, shining souls”. Extremely emotional, he barely holds back the tears but immediately returns smiling, takes off the hat covering his head and shows everyone “the new Giovanni” and the new cascade of gray curls. Then he sits at the piano and performs. Amadeus calls it “one of the most beautiful pages of the Sanremo Festival”. And he wishes him to return “to tread stages all over the world”.

Giovanni Allevi’s monologue in Sanremo

Allevi, 54, spoke about his journey with the disease: “Suddenly everything collapsed for me, I haven’t played the piano in front of an audience for almost two years. In my last concert, at the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the pain in my back was so bad that at the final applause I couldn’t get up from the stool and I still didn’t know I was sick. Then came the very serious diagnosis. I looked at the ceiling feeling like I had a fever of 39 for a consecutive year. I lost a lot: job, hair, certainties. But not hope and the desire to imagine, it was as if the pain also offered me unexpected gifts.”

“I don’t know what I would give to play in front of 15 people”

Allevi tells of when – “before all this happened” – during a concert, in a full theatre, he noticed “an empty seat”. She felt faint. “Yet – she continued – when I was starting out I gave concerts in front of 15-20 people and I was very happy”. And she reflects: “Today, after the illness, I don’t know what I would give to play in front of 15 people.” Then he lists some “gift” that brought him the pain. He talks about “gratitude towards the beauty of creation: the sunrises and sunsets I admired from those hospital rooms cannot be counted.” Then he mentions the certainty that, “when everything collapses and only the essential remains standing, the judgment we receive from the outside no longer counts”.

Amadeus: “Not being able to count on my body, I will play with my soul”

Before sitting down at the piano, Allevi warns the audience: “I have two fractured vertebrae, tremor and tingling in my fingers. Technical name: neuropathy.” But he immediately reassures: “No longer being able to rely on my body, I will play with all my soul”. Standing ovation, also from the orchestra.