Thursday evening was the Gala performance of Gian Carlo Menotti’s double bill Amelia Goes to the Ball and The Telephone, marking the start the Opera season at the Salle Garnier in Monte-Carlo. The guest of honour was no other than the famous Spanish tenor Placido Domingo, known for his versatile and strong voice, but this time he was with baton in hand in the Orchestra pit directing The Telephone for the first time in the Principality. The talented singer is the General Director of the Los Angeles Opera in California. The public was excited with anticipation to see their idol that has created three singing development centres in Los Angeles, Washington and Valencia and would love to open one in Monaco, apart from founding Operalia, an international singing contest taking place in Verona this year to discover the future talents. Placido Domingo has been asked for how long he thinks he would continue singing and conduction, to what he responded « When I rest, I rust. »
In the first part of the double program, beautiful German soprano Micaela Oeste answered the phone to take a call on stage while Placido Domingo was conducting. No, it was not lack of manners on the part of the singer as she was simply performing the role of Lucy in The Telephone or Love Triangle, a comic opera in one act written in 1946 that debuted in Monaco on February 19, 1967. The plot evolves around the irruption of new technologies and their effect in a loving relationship that remains a worst problem today. In spite of the many phone call interruptions Micaela Oeste sang like a dream accompanied by baritone Aldo Heo from Korea in the role of Ben.
The second part was the one act opera Amelia Goes to the Ball composed in 1936 and was Menotti’s first critical success. It recounts a series of nonsensical events where Amelia, a beautiful young and fashionable Italian woman will do anything in her power to attend the first ball of the season. Its premiere in Monte-Carlo was back on November 19, 1994. In this year’s representation French soprano Norah Amsellem was sublime in the role of Amelia and her wealthy estranged bourgeois husband was played by Chilean baritone Javier Arrey, with tenor Antonio Gandia from Spain as Amelia’s passionate lover.
After the performance the Friends of the Opera organized a dinner with the artists, including Placido Domingo accompanied by his wife of many years the soprano Marta Ormelas, at the Fairmont Hotel.
The double program will play again on Friday, October 25 and Saturday, October 26 at 20:00 and Sunday, October 27 at 15:00. For information visit www.opera.mc or call +377 98 06 28 28