After singing with Placido Domingo (“Tosca”), Jon Vickers (“Pagliacci”), Alfredo Kraus, Jose Carreras (“Traviata”) and Carlo Bergonzi (“Lucia di Lammermoor”), Romanian diva Nelly Miricioiu-Kirk is all set for a special concert with Filipino tenor Arthur Espiritu April 9, at Ayala Museum, with pianist Najib Mabaning Ismail.
Contacted in Australia where he is singing the role of Rodolfo (“La Boheme”) at Sydney Opera House, Espiritu said: “I’m so excited about it! Such a wonderful honor and opportunity to be able to sing with her.”
In another development, the Filipino tenor made a successful debut at Sydney Opera House Feb. 24 with an Australian critic giving him a thumb up on opening night.
Angus McPherson of Limelight, Australia’s classical music magazine, wrote the Filipino tenor’s sound was “exquisitely polished and contained—almost delicate—with a fine, burnished sheen.”
The tenor added he had a great time during opening night. “I love the fact that all my colleagues were all very supportive and the people are so nice. The audience was so great and so welcoming and had so much positive vibes. Compared to British audiences, they are a bit more relaxed. I mean, they say no worries all the time.”
How the tenor got the role is a story by itself. He was singing Ferrando in a controversial Calixto Bieito version of “Cosi Fan Tutti” in Basel (Switzerland) when Opera Australia artistic director Lyndon Terracini heard him.
He was invited to dinner after his performance along with his Fiordiligi (Anna Princeva).
Recalled the tenor: “Mr. Terracini said he was impressed with our voices and said he will cast us in his upcoming productions in Sydney and Melbourne, basically with Opera Australia. So, that was quite awesome to experience. And he paid for the restaurant bill. What a great guy! He is one of the nicest artistic directors I have ever met. So, in that dinner, I got two roles—Rodolfo in ‘Boheme’ and a role debut as The Shepherd in Szymanowski’s ‘King Roger.’”The tenor sings the Szymanowski opera in Melbourne in May, after which he will sing Rodolfo in Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv end of the year.
Opera Australia’s “La Bohème” is at the Sydney Opera House until March 24.—CONTRIBUTED
Call Ayala Museum at 0906-5104270, 0918-3473027, 5763132. Tickets: P2,000; P1,500; P1,000.