I had a few requests yesterday started by lovely Ilona to show a video of me singing some opera. OK, so I am not naturally a show off (which is strange considering the job I am in), so I thought about this for a while and then in the end thought, what the hell, if people don't like it, too bad. I don't have a video that I am prepared to share, but I do have a soundtrack.
Normally I would make 1000 excuses as to why this or that top note wasn't quite right, or why I don't like this bit, or why my Italian sucked, but I will refrain on this occasion.
I will however apologise for the honky tonk, wild west quality of the piano, it was one of those concerts where we turned up and having been promised a decent piano, found that it was truly dreadful, nothing you can do.
Anyway, enough excuses, here it is.
This is me and Catriona Clark Soprano singing the very romantic duet from Pagliacci by Leoncavallo. I've done this role twice, but this was just a concert performance a couple of years ago. Catriona has been my onstage wife in lots of productions of various operas and has become a very close friend, so it is nice to sing something so lovely with her.
The characters, Silvio and Nedda are very much in love and he is trying to persuade her to leave her husband and run away with him and she begs him not to tempt her. After an outburst of anger in which he accuses her of not really loving him, he sings a a quiet aria (about 3.45 minutes into the clip) telling her how she has changed his life and awoken love in him. She relents and they sing of their love, planning to run away together later that night.
As is the way in opera of course, things don't run quite to plan and at the end the husband finds out and stabs them both to death in the last minute of the opera. Not exactly a barrel of laughs in the end.