Behind the scenes of “Che Tempo Che Fa”
The online website of Vanity Fair Italia brings you behind the scenes of the Madonna interview and double performance on Che Tempo Che Fa which will air this coming Sunday, March 8. In his article Ferdinando Cotugno keeps track of the Queen of Pop’s visit to Milan last weekend, tells you what happened backstage and what you should expect when the episode airs on Women’s Day, and how Madonna unexpectedly walked an entire courtyard to meet and greet some of her fans who were cheering her from the balaustrades when she was leaving the Rai studios in Via Mecenate.
You can read the original article in Italian on vanityfair.it – and you can check a breakdown of the various tidbits translated for you by MadonnaTribe, mixed with some extra info to wrap up the story of Madonna’s first appearance on Italian television since Carramba Che Sorpresa in year 2000.
Madonna was in Milan this past weeked to promote her new album Rebel Heart and tape her episode of Che Tempo Che Fa that will air on Women’s Day, Sunday, March 8 on Rai 3.
Madonna arrived in town on Saturday night on a private and went straight to her hotel after landing at the Linate airport. She was travelling with a record-breaking party of 58, which included her management, her stylist B Akerlund, her hair stylist Andy Lecompte, her make-up artist, the four members of the band (Kevin Antunes, Monte Pittman, Ric’key Pageot, Chris Johnson), her backing singers Nicky Richards and Kylie Dean and a huge number of technicians and people from the crew. Madonna’s dancers were spotted in Paris on Sunday morning (or better, their Instagram accounts hinted so), and this was a strong indication that the performance planned for Che Tempo Che Fa was going to be different.
Despite the rumours, Madonna had no committments related to the Milan Fashion Week. Not only she did not attend the Versace show, but she wasn’t even in Milan yet when the event took place. Madonna wanted to keep her European promotional mini-tour as short as possible, because she was travelling without her children, who were busy with school in New York City. She arrived in London the weekend before the Brit Awards and left Paris last Tuesday after appearing on Le Grand Journal.
On Sunday morning Madonna spent two hours working out in her hotel gym. She arrived at the Via Mecenate studios at lunchtime, with the show rehearsals and taping being planned around a very tight schedule – as the show had another episode airing live in prime time in the same studios no delays were allowed. The only technical issue was about the video format of the backdrop videos for the two performances, that had to be converted to fit the Rai standards. The issue was promptly solved.
Madonna wore a gorgeous black dress by Maison Martin Margiela and performed two songs from her new album: Ghosttown and the exclusive world premiere of Devil Pray. There was no change of outfit during the show or the interview. The news about Devil Pray being rehearsed broke online when the fans waiting outside the venue heard the sound coming out from the studios. Together with the absence of the Madonna dancers, this was the strongest indication that there wasn’t going to be a performance of Living For Love on Che Tempo Che Fa – and when you’ll see the episode on Sunday you’ll realize this was a perfect choice for the rather intimate setting of the show.
Madonna was amazing both visually and vocally during her performance. The audience was treated with a double take of both songs and quite a few break moments to fix her outfit and make-up. She was smart, seductive, and playful during her interview.
The one who showed the most excitement was with no doubt the show host himself, Fabio Fazio. Before the taping started he briefly spoke to the audience, asking for their help and support throught the show. When Madonna finally entered in the studio for her interview Fazio offered her a red Sassicaia wine from 2011, with more glasses being poured along the way and Madonna admitting to be “a little tipsy” towards the end of the show. Madonna and Fazio spoke about pushing the boundaries, art (including mentions of Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo and Tamara De Lempicka‘s Andromeda from Madonna’s personal collection), freedom, human rights and discrimination. In Fazio’s own style, it was more like a friendly conversation than a Q&A traditional interview.
Madonna herself suggested the toast: “To all of us, so that we can find our rebel heart“. She also took some time to talk to the audience during a break in the taping, asking what which was their favourite song from the album, and she was surprised by the fact they loved the “sad songs” from the record the most. She made herself a very short ironic reference to her much talked about performance at the Brits.
Madonna also had a short chat with five Italian journalists after the taping ended. In the dressing room, there was more wine and a box of macarons as a gift from the Che Tempo Che Fa team. On the other hand, Madonna’s requests were very simple: Red Bull, Coca Cola, water, a kettle with tea and lemon. Her staff brought her roses, and made some changes to the dressing room colours – to make sure they were able to pick the best shades of makeup – and turned a humidifier on; Madonna’s preparation included 20 minutes of voice exercise.
When she was ready to go, and leave Milan to Paris, she noticed some fans cheering and walked through the studios courtyard to give them a very unexpected meet and greet, as you’ve probably seen in the clips that were posted right away on the social networks.
Madonna’s wrap-up comment took place on her Instagram:
Italy was fun, this is only my 3rd Bowl of pasta, I swear.