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Published by the Press and Guide Newspapers Dearborn Mi

By LAURIE HUMPHREY Special Writer

After visiting Detroit as an exchange student at age 17, one Dearborn resident decided home was where the opportunity is.

Born in Rome, Agostino Vallecoccia AKA Dino Valle has achieved a great deal in this land of opportunity. Today, Valle is recognized as a disc jockey for a multi-ethnic radio station, a renowned opera singer, an initiator of the Verdi Opera Theatre of Michigan and a dedicated family man.

Receiving his education from a number of institutions including the Detroit Institute of Musical Arts, Madonna University and Indiana University's school of music, Valle has been influenced by several people.

It was even the advice of others which prompted him to become a singer.

"In Italy, it's normal to want to be a singer. Everyone wants to, so you need to be real good. When I started singing here, I received a lot of support and that compelled me to go further," Valle said.

After graduation, Valle worked to receive a Teaching certificate in cosmetology. As "a matter of survival," Valle held that job for five years.

"At that time, a singing career didn't come easy and I needed to do something to live," Valle said.

Valle's first symphony appearance took him back to his alma mater at Madonna University. Performing with the Oak way-Livonia Symphony for his former professors was a remarkable experience for Valle.

"It was really interesting to go back, performing for those who had taught me," he said.

Since then, Valle has sung with the Allen Park Symphony, Dearborn Symphony, Warren Symphony and the Livonia Symphony. He has recorded at Orchestra Hall and has performed many concerts in Canada and his native Italy.

In 1985, after 15 years singing experience, Valle performed for Pope John Paul II in Vatican City.

"It was overwhelming," said Valle. "I didn't feel nervous, but instead privileged."

After the performance, the pope praised Valle in person, saying his "voice is a gift from God and should be used to bring peace to the world."

 

After a performance, Valle was approached by a representative from WCAR radio.

"Mr Borkowski, the Sales Manager from WCAR came backstage and said that WCAR needed a disc jockey and asked if I'd be interested. I went into the studio, made a demo tape and got the job," Valle said.

Over the years, Valle saw a need to encourage and develop public appreciation for the music of opera composers and composer of other popular music for the theater.

As a result, he founded the Verdi Opera Theatre of Michigan in May 1988. One of the aims of the non-profit organization is to. I promote goodwill and friendship among all people, through music, for everyone's enjoyment and cultural enrichment.

This is done through opera presentations, exhibits and presentations in theaters, clubs, restaurants, civic centers and schools.

In order to reach school children, the Verdi Opera Theatre works in conjunction with the Dearborn Symphony in a variety of Outreach Programs.

Sponsored by clubs and civic organizations, the Outreach programs are specifically designed to best suit the students whether it be a slide presentation, live performance or question-and answer session.

For his contributions of broadcasting news, events, music, opera and culture, Valle was recommended for knighthood into an honorary group based on achievements by a former professor.( Paolo Polidori )

He was recently knighted by the sovereign order of St. John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta and appointed Commendatore Gerosomilitano of the Glorious Knights of Malta. Listen to Dino Valle on 1090 AM every Sunday from 12:00 Noon To 1:00 PM or on line. www.michigancatholicradio.org 

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