Thursday, April 1, 2010

Domingo Becomes The Fat Man

UPSS International/Arts Desk

Domingo Becomes "The Fat Man"
UPSS International/Arts Desk

The latest new role for supertenor Placido Domingo will be playing another supertenor: Luciano Pavarotti. "I'm excited for this opportunity to portray my friend and . . . we can admit it now . . . sometimes rival, the wonderful Luciano Pavarotti," Domingo told a small clutch of television and news reporters gathered outside of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the company which has commissioned the new opera scheduled to open its 2011-12 season.

Titled "The Fat Man," the new opera is being composed by controversial German composer, Beat Furrer, whose previous opera "Begehren" was an enormous artistic success at the 2003 Festival in Graz where its enormous staging required it to be produced in a converted factory space large enough for its installation.

"Begehren was a controversial retelling of the Orfeo and Euridice myth," explained Furrer, "very static musical language with very little stage movement and with the enormous lighted floors that rose and fell . . . . they were as important as the music. But with my new opera of the Pavarotti things will be different. I will enjoy making the Italian music sounds - or my idea of this sound and working with a man - Domingo - who knew the Pavarotti."

As for portraying his former colleague, Domingo seems to be up to the challenge and approaching it with great humor, "I am a Spaniard singing in German about the life of an Italian opera singer . . . the world of opera is crazy like that! But I'm used to singing in French about Russian Czars and in Italian about French kings and poets and in German about Spanish knights," laughed the still handsome and youthful 69 year old. "So, why not now sing in German about an Italian tenor, right?"

As for what follows "The Fat Man," Domingo laughed again, hinting his portrayal of Pavarotti may be his final operatic role, "After singing 200 different roles, The King of the High C's is a nice exit to the stage, yes?


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