Tuesday, 7 April 2009

I don't suppose there are many Brits who can claim...

I don't suppose there are many Brits who can claim to have sung the national anthem on the stage of La Scala, Milan. Well, perhaps uniquely that honour was mine last night at the premier of Rossini's Il Viaggio a Reims. The character I play happens to be English, an aristocratic army colonel called Lord Sidney. Near the end of the opera each character is called on to sing a song from his/her own country and Sidney, professing an ignorance of all things musical, which conforms to the national stereotype of 'Das Land ohne Musiek', admits to just one ditty in his repertoire: 'God Save the King'.
Admittedly the words are different and in Italian, but the tune's the same albeit with a couple of Rossinian harmonic and melismatic twists which jazz the thing up a bit - and, boy, does it need it!
All in all a fun evening but with a serious purpose: it was announced before curtain up to appreciative applause that all proceeds would be going to the Abbruzzo Earthquake Appeal, including contributions from the cast.

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