(All photos copyright Catalano Alfonso/Erba Marco/Guindani Stefano/SGP 2013)
In the great crossover tradition of showboating Italian tenors who've come before him -- Pavarotti, Caruso, Gigli -- Vittorio Grigolo continues to break from the opera stage and enchant high society with a twinkle in his eye and microphone in his hand, replete with the de Grigueur Xmas album.
Last night -- in a tuxedo, white t-shirt and Lacoste kicks -- he was back in Milan to celebrate Italian rubber/tire king Pirelli's iconic calendar at HangarBicocca, a former hanger converted into an exhibition space.
In wayfareresque shades (an affectation picked up from raffish Lapo Elkann), Grigolo sang for 800 guests anchored by a handful of celebs (Kevin Spacy), models, Italian dynasty offspring and fashion industry gatekeepers.
Pirelli celebrated the 50th edition of its calendar by launching heretofore unpublished b&w shots taken in 1985 by Helmut Newton in Monte Carlo and Tuscany. Newton had abandoned the original commission for personal reasons and the images lay dormant in the Pirelli archives, sharing shelf space with former Pirelli calendar photographers such as Avdeon, Ritts, Lindbergh, Leibovitz, Testino and Demarchelier.
Grigolo returns to the opera stage in a couple weeks paired with Gheorghiu in a Vienna Boheme.