We've heard some of your biggest hit songs interpreted by Mina, Ornella Vanoni,
Aretha Franklin, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Tyler, Mariah Carey, just to name a few.
Did you ever heard one of your song interpreted differentely from the way
you envisioned it when you composed it?

R: Too much, too often & in a very painful way!!!!!!!!

You write popular songs, but also classical compositions (classical cross-over).
Which one is the true Beppe Cantarelli?
R: The one who can communicate 100% of his emotions when he composes.
Since there is the famous Italian motto "not all the bagels have a perfect hole in the center"
it's obvious that not all the times we're blessed from above!!!!! Ergo, when those famous bagels
come out of the oven with a perfect hole in the center, not only my beautifeul baker friend from
my hometown Busseto (cute Michela Fantini) is happy, but Beppe Cantarelli as well because
he finally expressed himself fully, with no waste of time, coming to the main point quickly
and effectively and at the right moment, with the right lyrics & the right music, with pleasant
lyrics & pleasant music because they are inspired in a way...even though I have to admit
that my gorgeous friend Michela Fantini ain't that picky when it's time to get those
bagels out of the oven!!!!

Who is the very first person who listen to your songs as soon as you've composed them?
R: I have to admit that for the last 20 years it has been my dogs; Shiva, my German shepard
who gave the name to my publishing company Shiva Diva Music, and my Great Danes
including Baby Baron who gave the name to my first production company
Baby Baron Productions. If they don't like what I'm writing, they bark ferociously,
while when they like it they relax and they fall asleep (quite often snoring shamelessly).

For a composer I think it's very difficult to chose one preferred song in between
all of his or her compositions. It would be like to chose in between a lot of his or her
own children. Neverless, is there one song that you particularly like?
And if such song does exist, can you explain the reason?

R: I do not know if such a song exist for me because, as you've pointed out on your question,
for a composer his songs are like his children: you love them all and sometimes you end up
loving more the one that have a less successful life. So in my specific case I probably end up
caring more and/or been more attached to the songs that never made it to the charts,
and/or that are not famous, and/or that no one seems to really appreciate, and/or that are not
received as they should or, from my "parental" point of view, that should be listen
to with more attention. As you can see, it's like being a parent, you maybe feel guilty
because when you composed those songs that are "more difficult to get the message across"
you're afraid you didn't do your job at your best therefore, as a good parent should do,
maybe at a subconscious level, you have a natural reaction to compensate.

Is there a song out there that you would've like to compose?
R: Mmmh, I wish there was only one!!!!!!!

During your concerts & tours you bring in churches around the world your
music & The Millennium Choir, recognized as the official voices of the Vatican,
how did this choir came together?

R: First of all allow me to correct you: The Millennium Choir is not "the official voices
of the Vatican," but it has been "for once" the official choir in the Vatican on Christmas Day 1999,
when the Pope opened the Holy Doors to the whole world within a world-wide televised
event produced by the Vatican called "Aprite Le Porte A Cristo" ("Let's Open The Doors To Christ").
This choir of mine was indeed the "voice of the Vatican" in that special day also because, being
the Vatican's message to the world the prayer to have people from all different
religions & ethnic cultures coming in peace & harmony under the Holy Doors,
the Millennium Choir perfectly represented such a prayer & such a message, due to the fact
that its members are singers from different cultural, religious & ethnic background.
It's also interesting how the choir was born: it happened by mistake, with no plans,
I'm afraid to say "almost by a miracle"!!!!!! After being commissioned (almost 10 years ago)
several compositions for choir & orchestra such as "Mentre Il Silenzio" ("While Silence")
and "Veni Sancte Spiritus" ("Come Holy Spirit"), and after these compositions have been
performed for years by the choir of my hometown Busseto, Italy, and they've also been recorded
in an amateur way, every time I tried to play these recordings I felt like they were not
communicating the emotions that I thought I put in the writing itself, therefore in the essence
of the compositions. So, during the Christmas vacation in December 1997, since I had
a couple of weeks relaxing at home in Los Angeles, I asked some singers friends of mine
and my wife Patrice to help me recording "Veni Sancte Spiritus" taking advantage
of the countless recording tracks of a new recording hard disk that I just purchased
that gave us the possibility to use countless overdubs of vocals over vocals until achieving
the right weights in between the various vocal sections (i.e., 40 soprano, 40 contralto, 20 tenor,
20 bass, etc.). I was hoping to record a decent demo that would allow me to play
that composition as close as possible to the music score & vocal arrangement that I composed
and that up until that moment was only "on paper" and obviously on my head.
The "demo" was so exciting that the rough mix that I did start circulating in between friends
and other singers in the local recording studios, etc., receiving a very positive feedback
(as they say "there was a buzz around"). I start receiving phone calls from singers whom I knew
and/or who had participated to the recordings, as well as from singers whom I did not know
and who asked me to keep them in mind whenever I would decide to do some other
recordings with this choir that didn't have a name. At that point I decided to record
"Mentre Il Silenzio," my very first composition for choir & orchestra commissioned a few years
earlier. After recording this one, I composed & recorded a new "Magnificat,"
commisioned by Sister Maria Luigia Aguzzi, the badess of the only Sanctuary in Rome,
the Santuario del Divino Amore. When 2 years later I was asked to bring my choir,
that by then was been named The Millennium Choir, to the Vatican, my collaborators & I
decided to call all friends & singers who had participated to the various recordings but who
(many of them at least) did not know each other, due to the fact that with the modern
recording technologies you can have the soprano section performing & being recorded
on Monday, the contralto section recording their parts on Tuesday, the tenors on Wednesday
& the basses on Friday. We had such a strong turn out that we were able to bring to the Vatican
Auditorium "Sala Nervi" almost 200 singers, including such artists as Siedah Garrett (Quincy Jones,
Michael Jackson, Miles Davis), Darryl Phinnessee (Michael Jackson, Don Henley, Rod Stewart,
Lionel Ritchie, etc.) just to name a few. That was the very first time, Christmas Day 1999,
that all the singers members of the Millennium Choir, plus several new ones, sang live
and all together. Alleluja!!!

Interview by Elena Gavazzi