Monday February 19, 2018 6:09 am

living legend


domingo-hommage-250This disc was FanFaire‘s first DVD giveaway, held in celebration of PLÁCIDO DOMINGO and LA OPERA as the company, headed by Domingo, wrapped up another record season with LUISA FERNANDA, the company’s first full-length production of a “zarzuela” (a Spanish musical art form akin to operetta).

“HOMMAGE a SEVILLA” pays tribute to SEVILLA, the scene of many a great opera. In a broader sense, it celebrates SPAIN, the country of the great tenor’s birth, and of the the art form of which he is the most ardent champion, the ZARZUELA.

Filmed on location more than two decades ago (in 1981) by the eminent opera director, the late Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, the DVD is pure DOMINGO, showcasing the tenor at the peak of his powers both as singer and actor. The film won the 1984 EMMY Award for “Outstanding Classical Program in the Performing Arts.”

The project was a brainchild of Domingo himself. He chose six operas: Don Giovanni, Carmen, Fidelio, Il barbiere di Siviglia, La forza del destino and El gato montés. In these operas, he sings roles that made him famous as well as roles that one would not instantly attach to his name. But, as you will see, he sings them as if he has owned the roles all of his life.

It was a film which the trio of DOMINGO, JAMES LEVINE (conducting the Vienna Symphony Orchestra) and Ponnelle obviously had a lot of fun making, and every opera lover will surely have fun watching, for many reasons. There’s more to the DVD than opera scenes. The voice is pure Domingo, and the backdrop pure SEVILLA! What’s more, Domingo takes on the roles of singer and tour guide, giving insightful commentary on both the opera and the scenery as he takes the viewer on a tour of the beautiful, historic city. Domingo’s artistry and Ponnelle’s cinematic eye vividly capture the uniquely picturesque setting setting in which the operas’ characters frolicked and made love, struggled and triumphed, lived and died.

The video, excerpted here with permission, gives the novice a glimpse into opera and perhaps reason enough to begin a love affair with the art form, and the true-blue opera lover cause to love it even more. What a great way to celebrate DOMINGO, LA OPERA and FANFAIRE as it begins its 10th year as the webzine that celebrates MUSIC!

- © 2007 G. Cajipe / FanFaire