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

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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.

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