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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1 comment:

Paul said...

I had the pleasure of seeing your performance in "Viaggio" last evening, thanks to its U.S. cinecast via Emerging Pictures. Bravo, sir! As I will write in my review for the Denver (Colorado) music magazine where I am the opera/classical reviewer, you are more than a worthy successor to Samuel Ramey, who debuted the revival of this role at La Scala in 1985.

I first became acquainted with you thanks to your performances on a number of Opera Rara recordings, most recently "Dom Sebastien" and "Margherita d'Anjou." I look forward to hearing and seeing more of you, especially on the big screen. Do you ever perform in the States? The Met is missing out big-time in not casting you for some of its bel canto bass roles.