The Real D’Elia–Globe-Trotting Journalist Chronicles Maestro Pappano’s Bridgeport Roots

Travel journalist Valarie D’Elia, who worked at WICC and News 12, has roots in Bridgeport. And so too the subject of her upcoming PBS feature on renowned conductor Antonio Pappano who lived in Bridgeport during his youth and musical training years. Pappano is the music director of the Royal Opera at Covent Garden in London as well as music director of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia of Rome. It’s been quite a journey as Valarie shares in her Pappano piece. See above.

Pappano, D'Elia
Valarie D’Elia interviews Antonio Pappano.

Valarie is a globe-trotting journalist influenced by her travel-agency family dating back to 1902. Her father had four offices, one in Trumbull and three in Bridgeport including a commercial division servicing industries such as G.E. and Harvey Hubbell. Valarie’s segment about Pappano also shares their roots in the same small southern Italian village of Castelfranco where many uprooted to Bridgeport including the families of former Bridgeport mayors Samuel Tedesco, Lenny Paoletta and Nicholas Panuzio.

Antonio Pappano during his Bridgeport days.

Valarie will present a discussion about her Pappano segment Oct. 14, 3 pm at the Italian American Museum, 155 Mulberry Street, in Manhattan’s Little Italy.

Harvey Sachs, The New York Times Classical Music Writer, opens his just-released profile of Pappano’s upcoming appearance at Carnegie Hall with his roots in Bridgeport.

If you were an aspiring singer in Bridgeport, Conn., in the 1970s, chances are you knew, or at least knew about, the voice teacher Pasquale Pappano and his teenage son, Tony, who assisted him after school.

“My father would do half an hour of technical work with a pupil,” Tony recalled recently, “then I would work on repertoire for another half-hour.”

Tony Pappano from Bridgeport has come a long way since then. Knighted Sir Antonio Pappano five years ago, he has been the music director of the Royal Opera at Covent Garden in London, one of the world’s most important companies, since 2002.

Full story here.



  1. I love these feel good stories about Bridgeport. It helps take my mind off of the current state of affairs. I like to believe, no I do believe, there are other young Antonio Pappanos and Valerie D”Elias in Bridgeport preparing for success.

  2. What a nice piece of RECENT Bridgeport history.

    I remember when there were scores of music studios with regionally known teachers downtown and scattered about the city. And great music programs in the schools…

    So many great people and things came out of this city. One is forced to ask “What Happened!”… (And, of course, few of us really want to know the answers…)

    1. Arts and culture are important. Bridgeport has a renowned symphony orchestra, a youth orchestra. Our city is home to a couple of great venues, the Webster Arena and Klein Memorial, that showcase internationally known performers. 

      In Black Rock live music is a matter of local pride. I host two open mic nights that attract some of the area’s most accomplished performers.

      1. That’s right. Gathering of the Vibes folded tents, called in the dogs and pissed on the fire because Ken Hayes didn’t want to pay his bills owed to the city.


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