Cheesed off

David Rendall as Tito in CataniaToward the end of 1988, I had a contract to sing the title role in a production of La Clemenza di Tito in Catania, Sicily.  During that time, Mount Etna erupted, and apparently was bombed to divert a lava flow from consuming a small village.  It was very dramatic.

The conductor, Michael Bode, a young German, was very good indeed. However, the stage director was hopeless and I can’t remember his name.  He had never directed an opera before, and his only claim to fame was that he was married to a famous Wagnerian Soprano from Eastern Europe.  Continue reading


Exploited in Aix

This picture is of me as Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Glyndebourne in the summer of 1988. I was in the middle of the run when I started my next contract at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in southern France.  This was for the title role in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito, a new production directed by the Greek film maker Michael Kakoyannis, famous for his film Zorba the Greek.  Michael was a truly wonderful director. He saw everything as if through a camera lens, pulling focus to where the important things were going on, thereby not allowing the audience to be distracted by other things happening on stage.  It was a really great time to be in Aix, for both the rehearsals and the performances.  The whole team became more of a family, and that included the wonderful chorus called The Sixteen.

Continue reading