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Pure Puccini: an opera lover’s melodramatic family history

Flamboyant theatrics were part of Michael Volpe’s life as CEO of Opera Holland Park. But those of his feuding Italian relatives rival anything seen on stage

29 June 2024

9:00 AM

29 June 2024

9:00 AM

Do I Bark Like a Dog? How an Italian Family History Shaped a Boy in London Michael Volpe

Renard Press, pp.224, 12.99

‘If a horse is born in a stable, does it bark like a dog?’ By the time the Duke of Wellington’s famous question (‘If a man is born in a stable, does that make him a horse?’) made its way down to the young Michael Volpe, growing up in a fractured Italian family on the ‘streets and railway tracks… estates and football terraces’ of 1970s west London, it was mangled almost beyond recognition, bent and twisted into a surreal new shape.

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