Hello again dear, wonderful MAESTRO RICHARD BONYNGE: AC CBE.
This last week I was extremely happy to have been invited by the great dramatic soprano APRILE MILLO to speak at a round table event in the first season of her new program - OPERAVISION: L'ACADEMIA MILLO VETERE in URBANIA's Centro Studi Italiano.
The round table was headed by my dear friend, the world famous conductor and Bel Canto specialist Mo' RICHARD BONYNGE: AC CBE with whom I had been honoured to have been involved as director and / or designer, on many productions starring his wife the truly legendary DAME JOAN SUTHERLAND: OM AC DBE. The round table event also focused on input from the highly respected opera agent based in New York: BOB LOMBARDO who inspired us all with his detailed annalysis of so many aspects of what makes a really good opera singer! (Among the many many great singers whom he has represented and guided, it is impossible to not mention the truly legendary RENATO SCOTTO)
The last time Ricky (Mo' Richard Bonynge) and I had met in person was in1989 in the production that I had created for Dame Joan and he of Bellini's NORMA in Los Angeles & Detroit. But in the photo below taken in Urbania at his hotel, I am seen presenting him with a reproduction of a portrait I have just created of Dame Joan in our ANNA BOLENA - the production which I had created for them as director - designer at London's ROYAL OPERA HOUSE in 1988 which was their last new production there.
My painting at 1.50 mtr by 1.20 cm shows Dame Joan at considerably more than life size.
In URBANIA I was deeply struck by his incredible energy and extraordinary sense of youthful enthusiasm for singing and for the young singers in Miss Aprile Millo's opera program, combined with the fact that he looks absolutely fantastic, made it virtually impossible to believe that so many years have passed since last meeting up. What a joy it was to see him again!
Next day I was flattered to have had the opportunity to spend an entire session discussing with him the world of opera today, endeavouring to analyse where it's going and who among the latest crop of singers who are currently taking the public's attention have the potential to become long lived stars. (The extraordinary tenor VITTORIO GRIGOLO obviousy being one of the ones at the very top of my very short list)
It was also a great joy for me to have met Dott' GIOVANNI E. PASOTTO, the youthful C.E.O. of the CENTRO STUDI ITALIANO who was hosting Miss Millo's OPERA VISION program
Below we see three generations who love and care about opera and its principal and original language - ITALIAN. Led of course by the great Meastro RICHARD BONYNGE!