Critics and audiences cheered tenor Arthur Espiritu as Alfredo in Oper Klosterneuburg’s staging of “La Traviata” in Vienna with the Violetta of Russian soprano Eugenia Dushina.
With the Vienna mayor in the audience, “Traviata” was so well-received that the production had to add one more performance on Aug. 5. It was supposed to close Aug. 3.
Before opening night, the Filipino tenor was surprised by the visit of the reigning king of opera, Jonas Kaufmann, during rehearsal. “He could not come on opening night because of his busy schedule. His girlfriend Christiane Lutz (our stage director) took him along.”
Kaufmann, who had heard the Filipino tenor sing Elvino in “La Sonnambula” in Munich, told Espiritu he was “pretty good.” “I was a bit speechless,” Espiritu said. “So Günter (our Giorgio Germont) just said to him he knows it! Followed by laughter. (Jonas) is so down to earth. It was very inspiring for me to see him. He does set the bar high for us tenors.”
Soprano Jasmin Salvo, last seen with soprano Mheco Manlangit and tenor Jan Briane Astom in “The American Songbook” series, will be heard at Ayala Museum on July 26 in a solo concert with pianist Najib Ismail. –CONTRIBUTED
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