Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Tenor Voice

Always on the brink of chaos.  The tenor seems to barely keep his instrument under control.  The tenor voice thrills in every musical genre.  In opera the voice fills the house as nothing else can.  The opera goer stares at the performer with heart pounding.  A hundred years ago the Metropolitan Opera declared that there would be no encores permitted in regular performances that would interrupt the dramatic flow.  For only three singers have the audience demanded that the Met bend its rule.  All three were tenors.  Last Friday night the Met's headline tenor in "La Cenerentola" (Cinderella) was ill.  Juan Diego Florez was unable to perform so his "cover" was called in.  Javier Camarena was well prepared.  In the second act playing the prince smitten by the strange and beautiful girl, he became the third man to repeat an aria, "Si, ritrovaria io giro (Yes I swear I'll find her).  Florez himself was the second tenor so honored by the audience during his performance as the love struck stranger in "the Daughter of the Regiment".  The first tenor encore was the incomparable Luciano Pavarotti singing the role of the doomed lover in "Tosca".  I offer below a recording of each aria.  They are not from the encore performance, but will thrill you nevertheless.  Listen and watch.  The high notes are toward the end.

First, Javier Camarena.

 Then, Juan Diego Florez.

And finally, Luciano Pavarotti.

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