Toward 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
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.