Composer – Arranger – Producer
Born at Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy, Roberto’s fascination with music and drama began at an early age. His singing and drama talent evolved during his studies, though his main passion was composing. He drew his inspirations from real life events and observations – translating these impressions and emotions into melodies and words. Naturally, Italian opera and popular tunes of the time were of great and lasting influence too.
In the early seventies, Roberto turned professional, after being offered the position of lead singer in a group, which led to a contract with an Italian recording and publishing company. However, Roberto’s ambition was to make his mark as a composer internationally, and he subsequently came to London to work as an in-house composer/producer/arranger with a record/publishing company.
During the seventies, eighties and nineties he wrote for – or produced – Mungo Jerry, Geordie, Showaddywaddy, AC/DC, Kelly Marie, Joe Dolan (who was hugely successful on the Continent, South Africa, South America and Australia with Robertos compositions). Many of his compositions were covered by – Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, Barbara Mandrell, James Darren, The Drifters, Ronnie Milsap as well as over 20 Continental singers. Roberto has played an important role in the early stage careers of many artists, among them Shona Laing, Nancy Nova and Johnny Logan (3 times Eurovision winner). Other Irish singers who he produced with his songs include Brendan Shine, Linda Martin, Dickie Rock, Anne Breen and Sean ODowd.
Roberto established his first production company and label, Ritz Records, in 1977 in partnership with Pye Records (London) and Vogue Records (Paris). The company became Plaza Records in 1981 – which Roberto has been running independently alongside his publishing firm Quatermass Music.
In the mid-80s, he launched General Lafayette – an instrumental project – which has allowed him to interpret his own compositions through the magic sound of the trumpet. His contemporary arrangements and production, which include vocals plus digital and live orchestration, create a highly inspirational atmosphere instantly recognisable and much loved by his many fans.
In 1990 Roberto produced The 50th Anniversary of The Battle of Britain with the BBC Concert Orchestra, Central Band of the Royal Airforce and BBC Singers, a recording of the Gala Performance at the Royal Festival Hall. The show subsequently toured North America and Canada. Other artists on the Plaza label at that time included Vendetta and Karl Denver.
In 1995 he was commissioned to write the musical score for Phantom of the Opera on Ice (drama on ice) which offered another great opportunity for expressing his musical talent and versatility with melodrama – embracing operatic, classical and popular themes – and complementing them with the distinctive and evocative style of his productions. The Russian Ice Stars toured the UK successfully with the Phantom production for several seasons during 1997-2001 performing to audiences of over 500,000 people.
Roberto’s association with the Russian Ice Stars rekindled a long held aspiration to record Russian religious choirs with their magnificent hymns. In late 1998, a series of events suddenly made this dream a reality and a fascinating two and a half year journey unfolded resulting in a contemporary, new dimensional production entitled CREDO The Rock Opera of the Greatest Story. Credo is a musical celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ featuring ancient hymns, chants and gospel that were recorded with official choirs in cathedrals and monasteries not only in Russia, but also in Armenia, The Holy Land, Vatican City and the UK. The project was a uniquely inspirational experience and Roberto felt very privileged to have met so many wonderful people during the making of Credo.
Apart from working on a new album for General Lafayette, Roberto is producing the debut album for Leroy Vickers as well an album for ZGuitarz. He is also recording a first single The Force with the young and delightful female artist Solitaire and is excited about two rare finds of copyrights Tu Per Me by the hugely talented songwriter Angelo Camassa and Periodo del Tempo Mio by the equally talented Stefano Nobile both titles to be recorded by La Voce del Nord.
He is actively looking to expand the Plaza/Quatermass catalogue for digital distribution and has already identified several artists from abroad whose compositions/arrangements have intrigued him – more about those artists and their music will be reported soon.
• Grand Prix in Luxembourg: Radio and Television International Producer Award
• The UK Music Association: Award for Excellence for a special orchestral concert recording (featuring the BBC Concert Orchestra and the BBC Singers)
• Composer UNICEF theme: “Listen to the Children”
During his career, Producer Roberto Danova has enjoyed the privilege of working with many outstanding and talented artists. In recent years, a group of special people have become part of a dedicated and exceptional production team:
Steve Millington (arranger – keyboards), Sound Image
Steve Morris (guitars)
Paul Burgess (drums – percussions)
Peter Whitfield (string arrangements), Real Strings
Anthony Thompson (trumpet)
Steve Oates (programming), Sound Image
Tim A Duncan (recording, mixing and digital editing engineer), Ambience
Peter Mew (senior mastering engineer), Abbey Road
Christophe Bride (recording engineer), Oxygen
Paul O’Brien (mastering engineer), POB
Roberto Danova (artists & repertoire)
David Giles (production coordinator), Key Production
Lorna Tiefholz (artwork & website)
Abbey Road Studios – London
Ambience – Manchester
Oxygen – Manchester
Sound Image – Warrington