I absolutely LOVE Italian opera. It all began during a backpacking trip to Italy in my first year of uni. We were in Rome, the last stop of our 10-day journey, and my friend and I decided to book tickets for the opera that night. I had never been to one before and thought what better way to enjoy it than to hear it performed in the country where this glorious artform originated.
We scraped together whatever Euro we had left for a seat way up in the opera house. Imagine our excitement when we realised Placido Domingo was performing that night! What luck. For the uninitiated, he is one of the famed Three Tenors, the other two being Jose Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti.
When Domingo sang his first aria from the opera ‘Fedora’, I knew I had fallen in love. It didn’t matter that he sang in Italian and that there were no surtitles. It didn’t matter that the programme was entirely in Italian and I had no idea what the plot of the opera was about. All that mattered was that the melody of the arias were breathtaking, and his voice, so emotive. I could feel my emotions soar and descend with each phrasing and I had goosebumps all over. I knew then that it was the beginning of a lifelong passion.
Now, several years on and many operas later, I have developed a more sophisticated appreciation for this artform. Yet, nothing remains as vivid as the first performance I heard in Rome, many years ago.