Bringing the Talent to you

Relocation from England to the Lucca hills
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Written by Paula Chesterman from Tuscan Talent
This story of relocation to Tuscany is one to which many of us in England can relate, especially during these days of unseasonable (apparently) cold, grey and miserably wet weather. Living the Tuscan dream of golden sunshine, blue skies, wonderful scenery, food and wine, what could be better!
Louise, Lawrence and friend with Todo outside the chiesa San Michele in Lucca
Herbert Handt, the American tenor/conductor trained at the Juilliard School of Music in New York, then at the Vienna Academy of Music making his operatic debut at the Vienna State Opera in 1949.
Besides Carol MacAndrew who was very well - known during her years in Lucca, also featured is Maestro Herbert Handt and his equally talented wife Laura Ziegler, as well as friends, neighbours and of course, the vets!
Herbert Handt sang many lyric tenor roles in the opera houses of Europe, performing not only Mozart and Rossini, but also taking part in the works of such modern composers as Britten and Berg.

Handt lived for many years in Rome and started conducting in 1960.
Here he formed his own vocal and instrumental ensemble and began performing ancient and obscure Italian scores, which he himself edited.
Later he moved to Lucca, where during the summer months he organised the Associazione Musicale Lucchese Opera Festival.
He is still to be seen attending concerts in Lucca and occasionally conducts the local choirs.

His wife, Laura Ziegler was born in Columbus, Ohio and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Italy in 1949 to study polychrome sculpture.

Maestro Handt conducting a concert at Villa Oliva, Lucca in the 1960s
And then there is Todo, the inspiration for their decision to move to the Lucca hills, and around whom their tale is woven.
Lucca is the back - drop for Todo’s story and many local places such as Montecatini Terme, S Andrea di Compito, Viareggio and Borgo a Mozzano, as well as local people are featured in the book.
Todo in Tuscany,
written by Louise Badger and Lawrence kershaw.
more info>
Laura’s studio, exhibiting some of her sculptures.

Todo was the reason that they put in an offer for the run-down, tired house. Todo was the little character known across the neighbourhood who introduced Louise and Lawrence to their new world - albeit a little sooner than they were expecting, as their plans to move were hardly formulated. Todo it was who proved that such things as loyalty, courage and determination are not reserved simply for humans.
Poggiolino was built by Carol MacAndrew, the first president of the Music Society of Lucca, and when she died, her dog simply stayed put. The house stood empty for two years, with Todo stubbornly refusing all efforts to re-home him.
When Louise and Lawrence viewed the house, his welcome made it seem to them as though they had arrived home. He lived alone outside the house and his coat was matted and worn, but he seemed to radiate friendliness. So it was that Todo – and Signora Teresa, the equally loyal house- keeper - proved hugely instrumental in the pair's offer for the house being accepted. Both continued after the purchase to help Louise and Lawrence to settle in.
There followed the frustrations of renovating - of re-connecting the telephone and bringing in the internet, of packing up and leaving London, whilst continuing to run their music agency, and of regular travel back and forth from England.
It wasn't easy; the pressures were huge, but the pleasures grew to be enormous. The locals, from electricians to policemen, and all who knew the previous owner, proved helpful and welcoming - but time and again doors were opened to them because of the small dog, who seemed to smile at everyone.
This is the story of love and devotion and of a precious friendship with an extraordinary dog. Part memoir, part travelogue, part reassurance that moving to another country is possible, this charming and heart-warming story of rescue and good fortune will raise both smiles and tears.
Louise Badger and Lawrence Kershaw were both born in the UK, but Louise spent her childhood in Australia while Lawrence grew up in Liverpool. They met through a shared love of music and were married in 1987. They have run a music agency for over a decade and divide their time between London and a small village near Lucca.
For more information please contact
Paula Chesterman from Tuscan Talent