Friday, 28 October 2011

Placido Domingo Celebration, 27th October

I had very high hopes of this event - an instant sell-out concert by one of the greatest opera singers of our time celebrating 40 years of performing at the Royal Opera House. The Daily Telegraph ended up describing the show as more of a wake than a celebration (review below). I wouldn't go that far and I don't want to say I was disappointed, but I was a bit underwhelmed. Now whether that was due to my own overblown expectations or a genuinely middle of the road show I can't quite say. The show was made up of three final acts from the Verdi operas Otello; Rigoletto; Simone Boccanegra. Otello saw Domingo sing in the role of tenor, for which he is most famous, whilst the other performances saw him singing baritone - a move Domingo made last year with his performances of Simone Boccanegra. This may have been part of the issue for me - I think I'm more of a soprano/tenor man myself!

It also didn't help, for me personally, that I hadn't previously seen any of the operas being performed. Therefore I found it difficult to get as engaged having not followed the entire story. Rigoletto was by far my highlight of the evening....and dare I say not because of Domingo, but because of the music and the parts performed by the tenor role. I'm sure you'll be familiar with this very famous piece:

Anyway - back to the show. It was great seeing a superstar opera singer perform, especially at the age of 70, and he went down a storm with the crowd. I think I made it a 15 minuet standing ovation, and some London florist did very well considering the number of flowers raining down on the stage at the end (although my suspicion is they were actually fake!). Glad I went, but I have had more powerful experiences at Covent Garden. 

Rating: ***


The Telegraph hated it whilst the Guardian loved it!

NEXT OPERA: Der Fliegende Holländer - My first Wagner experience!

1 comment:

  1. With all the cuts in arts funding it's good to see there are still opera companies that are touring!

    Good luck with Wagner!!!