Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music?
In 1993 a Nun noticed my attraction and natural talent for using the piano, after that I started learning the art of piano from Carmela e Gianfranco Chessari, my first piano teachers. My passion started growing so fast and strong I wanted to learn more about arrangement and singing this is why in 1996 I produced my first album with Peppe Arezzo who inspired me to follow my dreams. My goal was grand opera so I have always followed the careers of the big Tenors such as Mario Lanza, Pavarotti and back then my hero was also Andrea Bocelli; he had just been discovered
Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?
Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli for the vocal parts, Alan Parson and Tom Brooks in the production part, and David Foster and Cheope Mogol for the composition part. And guess what? In the 2019 my dream is becoming true: I’m soon releasing a new single produced by Tom Brooks and Alan Parson written by David Foster and Cheope Mogol, who is the son of the big Italian author Mogol.
What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?
Music itself is a very simple thing, my challenges have been my immigration to UK, between 2012/2014 and back again to America. That was the most important challenge career wise to start from scratch. All this change has made me stronger, and helped me improve my language skills. The industry is very tough to break into, but destiny is a part of the family of music.
Which performance/recordings are you most proud of?
My most successful single “Cross, Croix, Croce”, was one of the most important singles I have ever produced to date – all Italians and people in the world know that song. I was 21 when I self-produced and promoted the song for the Christian community/industry, inspired by Tom Brooks who took worship music worldwide with Integrity and Hosanna Music. My recent work “From Now On” is another reason I have to be proud…also because I composed the lyrics with the person who changed my life, my partner in business and in life, Veronica. …tough question but these two are the most beautiful works that I’m very proud of.
Which particular works do you think you perform best?
“From now on” is becoming my winning horse, but supported by my classical opera skills singing Puccini and Verdi, this is a powerful combination of Classical and Crossover.
How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?
I would like to give you great answer, but the truth it’s I still don’t have an idea. Sometimes we choose based on the industry, but sometimes that’s irrelevant because nobody knows what the world really wants. I’m an artist and so I usually go by inspiration and my gut feeling.
Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?
I love churches and old theatres because they were built at a time when sound systems didn’t exist. The natural sound and use of space is the only way possible to feel if you have a good instrument. This year I will be performing at the Washington Cathedral in Washington, DC for the Ambassador Andrew J. Young foundation; this is a prime example of a beautiful venue perfectly made for my voice.
Who are your favourite musicians?
Tom Brooks (pianist), Vinnie Colaiuta (drummer), Gary Wallis, (drummer) Ben Trigg (cello player), Emanuele Chirco (pianist), and I been so lucky to have them perform in all my new recordings.
What is your most memorable concert experience?
One of my coolest experiences was performing classic opera as a special guest at a Hard Rock concert. My friend Randy Jackson invited me to sing Nessun Dorma at the Westbury theatre and I experienced 3,000 people give me a standing ovation in the middle of a rock concert; this is something I will never forget.
As a musician, what is your definition of success?
Well, any time someone writes to me or calls me or stops me to thank me for my music and tells me how my music impacted on them, this is my definition of success. When the music touches people’s hearts, this is a success. Then there is mass media success, where you become a celebrity and everyone wants the privilege of having their picture taken with you and basically you stop doing your own grocery shopping – that it the success every one dreams of…. Van Gogh became successful after he died, so to me the word “success” without a real life is just a word.
What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?
I love this question and I want to give the best answer I can. If you have a talent, you need to also develop the business side of that talent. Don’t trust people blindly, and hope that maybe in the future something big will happen. Work hard and work only with people who are willing to promote and stand by the work they are doing with you. Be your true self always. One day hopefully you will make it, but if you don’t, you don’t need to have regrets… compromise is the only thing that can destroy you as an artist so never compromise who you are.
Where would you like to be in 10 years’ time?
I would like to be performing in universities and schools and inspire young people to keep the tradition of the classics. I wish to continue performing in pure acoustic form in very unique venues where people can experience the natural sound of music, and where people of all ages are together enjoying the beauty of classical music. That will be a successful life…
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I’m happy, after many years I discovered happiness. To be happy you need to be free, to be free you need to do what you really like to do, to find and accept your natural inclination. I am growing my own little garden, I am sharing my music with the world. I am removing from my life negative people and I live in a city I love with the person I love and who agrees with all the above….
What is your most treasured possession?
It’s my blue Polish 60 base accordion, given to me in 1991 by my grandfather, and my pasta maker….come visit me and you will understand why!
What is your present state of mind?
I’m happy, excited and super focused on what is happening in my life right now, I am living in the moment. I’m preparing my Tosca and I’m promoting my album… my brain is very busy!
Jonathan Cilia Faro will be performing tracks from his forthcoming album, From Now On at the legendary London venue, The Troubadour, on 24th September, the first live performance of his new material in the UK. Already receiving rave reviews across Europe and North America, Jonathan is determined to break down the barriers to opera and engage audiences of music lovers whatever their background. In choosing The Troubadour to perform his new songs, he follows in the footsteps of other maverick performers who played at the venue at the start of their careers – Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Joni Mitchell to name but three. Audiences can expect not just Jonathan’s spinetingling voice and fabulous songs but a performer with real humour and personality who connects directly with the listener.