Sunday, November 04, 2007

Oberto - the great Carlo Bergonzi

Just to give you an idea of what I wished I had heard a week ago Saturday here's Carlo Bergonzi in 1981 singing the big tenor aria from Oberto.

Bergonzi lives in the Bussetto area and has established the Accademia Verdiana, mentoring and nurturing young singers. His son Marco runs their Albergo - I due Foscari. I decided that since I was at the Teatro Verdi just next door I would have dinner there after the opera.

The meal was good but not exceptional - culatello, porcini and pumpkin tagliatelle, 7 cheeses from the region with fruit compotes, green apple sorbet, a half-bottle of a local white and coffee - but it was an odd, almost uncomfortable, experience. I was seated at a table for one at the head of the large baronial dining room with an elderly waiter (I'm not certain but at one point I believe he tugged on his forelock) attending to my needs. I had an uninterrupted view of all the other dinners (and the room was full.) There I was, Lord of All I Surveyed and All I Surveyed stared back at me in my lonely splendor. As I said, slightly discomforting.

4 novembre - San Carlo Borromeo


Lynette said...

I was seated at a table for one at the head of the large baronial dining room with an elderly waiter (I'm not sure but at one point I'm sure he tugged on his forelock) attending to my needs.

oh my word, i laughed out loud at that. i'll bet the other diners were enchanted with the vision of you in your "lonely splendor," because i imagine it looked like a splendid solitude. their minds were undoubtedly occupied with thoughts of you. "who is he? where does he come from? isn't he grand??"

music like this ~ magnificent, moving, touching my heart ~ makes me imagine living in a certain kind of house, one where i would have afternoon gatherings on the immense porch running the entire circumference of the house. my friends and i would listen to the opera emanating from the open window, we'd sip wine (this is where i know it's a mad dream, the very thought of one such as me sipping ~ rather than guzzling ~ wine) and live our lives in a languorous and glorious companionship.

yup, that's what i'm thinking of and now the music has stopped and i'm back in my little brick cottage, in the library, at my computer, puppy at my side, no opera, no gathering of friends, no huge surrounding porch. a different life than i imagined and still comforting.

more cowbell said...

I never do well at dining alone UNLESS I have a book. Then I don't mind at all. Sounded lovely, anyway.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I never do well at dining alone unless I'm tugging at my forelock.

Anonymous said...

Also, YouTube is being pissy presently so I can't watch the clip. But'choo can bet'cher sweet por'cheeni I'll be back.

Anonymous said...

Wee Willy Wonka...Miss you. Could you e-mail me at home, please? The e-mail address is You left something behind at the office and I need to know where to send. Sorry I missed the party. :(