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31 oct. 2008

ROLANDO VILLAZON IN ATHENS, by Angeliki

Colaboration of Angeliki

My impressions from Rolando’s Concert in Athens

Dear Villazonistas,

Due to too much work at the office, I have been a little late in sending you my promised comments on Rolando’s concert in Athens... But never fear!
The magic lives on... It is as if I were still there, in that concert hall, under the spell of these two wonderful creatures!!!

I believe that Parsifal has already fully covered the “technical” part of what was sung and how it was sung that night...
So I can only speak about emotions... I just don’t know for sure if I really have the words to do it!

Maybe I should explain right from the start that I am (well … I was!) a Placido Domingo fan more than anything else where opera is concerned, and that, until some time ago, I used to believe that nobody else could ever be like him, nobody else could ever give what he is always so generously giving... That was the case until a friend of mine made me notice Rolando! At that moment, something changed... I knew then that (thank God!) I was wrong! There was finally someone else who knew how to give himself completely to his art, to charm and move his public, to transport them to other spheres... There was Rolando Villazon!!!

I grew instantly very fond of him and when I knew that he was coming to Athens I was overjoyed! The fact that Nino Machaidze would be with him in his first concert in our city was a promise for a wonderful evening... Their “Roméo et Juliette” in Salzburg -I am sure you will agree!- was an absolute triumph and a performance that I adored!
So when the sale of tickets finally started, I was there from 05.30 in the morning, in fear to lose the good places!! Thankfully for me, my fears were unfounded. Rolando was not that well known in my country until that date for long queues to form before the box office that early in the morning...
My friends and I got seats in the 4th row, which was a great place to be!!

The problems that Rolando experienced with his throat just a week before the concert got us really worried, but his last performance in “Onegin” restored the confidence.

On Tuesday (28/10), we had the opportunity to listen to a great interview of Rolando to a Greek journalist on the radio, complete with many arias sung by him. Hearing him speak during this interview, I was so happy to confirm how profound a person he is, apart from being such an exceptional artist! I don’t know your opinion on this, but for me, who an artist is inside matters almost as much as how he or she performs! And Rolando is such a wonderful person, as is -of course- Placido!!!

The evening of the concert came and we were all overexcited... We knew that we were in for a memorable night, but back then ... we didn’t know just HOW memorable!
Until Rolando came on stage, slender and agile, beautifully dressed in his own style that suits him so, with that great smile of his and his easy attitude, and spoke a few words in Greek thus making instant contact with the audience.
From there on, he was holding us in his hands...

In every aria he sung, he gave everything that is in him, bringing tears in our eyes. It was as if time was suspended, I am not sure that I can really put into words the atmosphere in the concert hall and what I felt and what I sensed that everyone in the audience was feeling... I couldn’t believe that someone could experience such feelings in a concert hall!!!

The feelings of wonder and awe continued when Nino was on stage. She sang so beautifully and was so wonderfully looking that she effortlessly conquered all of our hearts!

To say nothing of the lovely “couple” they make! Absolutely endearing!!!

And then, in the midst of all this emotion, we suddenly saw another Rolando bursting into stage: One dressed with the t-shirt of the Greek national football team, wearing a white jockey with the Greek flag on it, holding a big can of beer and carrying a little teddy-bear in his rear pocket... All that, in order to sing “Caro Elisir” in a way that only he can, with all the facial expressions and funny movements and ... beer drinking (!!!) in place... Pure Rolando!!! He made us laugh so much!!! You absolutely cannot imagine the scene!... ;-)

If only this concert could have been videotaped by someone!... Nobody can describe it in a satisfactory way only with words, because it was a concert of feelings...

And then came more emotion, with “Tenda natal” and an incomparable “Non puede ser” that made us hold our breaths.

The “Brindisi” from “La Traviata” was a suitable end to this unforgettable evening. An end that had to delay a little, since we called the two of them many times on stage to applaud them. They really brought down the house and they absolutely deserved it!!!

The moments still live within me. I am sure that they will live in my heart forever, with that same intensity!!

Rolando deposited his wonderful soul in Athens, and sang right into ours! That night, performers and audience formed a big embrace, just like he said in his interview that he wanted it to be! And he alone made it happen!!

Out in the lobby, among the general praising, I also heard some people say that if he continues to give everything in this way every time he sings, his voice will not last long. Well ... that remains to be seen. People used to say worse to a young Domingo when he decided to sing “Otello” at an age that the “experts” regarded as “too young”! And where is Domingo now??!! Still singing gorgeously, still exploring new “territory”, still amazing and moving the world... With all my heart, I wish the same thing to Rolando, because we all need him so much, as we need this exact heartwarming way of his to give everything every time he performs!!! But even if it is not meant to be so, I think that we have to respect his wish in this matter: As he said in that same interview, if giving his 100% every time he performs means that he will have only another 20 years of performing instead of 40, then so be it! Because he will not change his ways!! And I find that fantastic!!!

After the concert, we tried to go backstage and see him… Unfortunately, it was not permitted.
However, when he emerged through that door, he was immediately surrounded by many fans hoping for a word with him and his signature on a CD-box, a picture or the concert programme…
Well, we didn’t really manage that “word”, because he had a reception to attend and was in some hurry, but he signed for each and every person who asked him to! And did it always with that great smile of his and the best of moods!!

Someone asked him if he will come to Greece again and he replied with a spontaneous “Yes!”. I hope that he understood well the question, because people were speaking to him from all over… ;-)
We shall be expecting him the soonest possible!!!
He is taking our hearts with him, which we gave him the moment he offered us his own!!

by Angeliki
Athens, 31.10.2008

24 comentarios:

  1. Thank you so much Angeliki for your wonderful comment !

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  2. Angeliki rocks! We were soooo close! We should have met!

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  3. MUCHAS GRACIAS, ANGELIKI.
    Trasmites perfectamente la ilusión y la emoción con que viviste el concierto, es magnífico poder compartirlo !

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  4. GRACIAS ANGELIKI POR TU FANTÁSTICA CRÓNICA ! BESOSSSSSS !!!!!!!!!

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  5. Angeliki, como me suena lo que dices, a mi me paso lo mismo. Yo también creía que no habría nunca nadie que me hiciera sentir como Plácido hasta que encontré a Rolando!!!!

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  6. I would have want you all to be there, since I know how much you love Rolando, that's why I tried to transmit you something of the wonderful atmosphere of that night... I'm glad if I succeded, even remotely! :)
    Parsifal ... I guess that we really were close! Maybe we'll meet next time!! :)
    Best thoughts and regards to all of you!!!

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  7. maria teresa1/11/08 21:06

    Thanks, Angeliki!! Entiendo perfectamente como te has sentido, todos los que admiramos a Rolando, admiramos tanto al artista como a la persona, tiene un carisma que muy pocos poseen, por eso entiendo la emoción que viviste. Todos estamos "contagiados" por el virus Villazón!

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  8. Thank you Angeliki for great reportage. It almost feels like I was there. I am most enthusiastic
    admirer of Rolando's art, during three years I attended A LOT of his performances. My last was Onegin in Berlin and next will be Hoffmann (London) and Boheme (Vienna).And of course Lucia and L'Elisir in my city, New York.
    I was very happy to read your impressions, thank you very much.

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  9. Me uno a los agradecimientos, Angeliki, es como haber estado ahí, Gracias!.

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  10. Anónimo2/11/08 9:33

    Merci pour cette formidable chronique si détaillée et pleine d'une réelle sensibilité.

    J'ai lu ici le témoignage sincère d'une "villazonista" convaincue.

    Si je ne l'étais pas déjà... depuis longtemps... je le deviendrai moi aussi, à la lecture de cette chronique.
    Bravo pour tout d'enthousiasme !

    Catherine

    P.S. N'y-a-t-il aucune vidéo ou enregistrement audio de cet évènement ?

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  11. Malheureusement, Catherine, je ne le crois pas... Pas de vidéo ou d'enregistrement audio officiels, j'entends! Il est bien probable que quelqu'un ait enregistré secrètement le concert ou en a fait une vidéo en cachette pour son propre compte. Mais comment le savoir et surtout ... comment l'obtenir???!!! :'(

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  12. Thanks for the wonderful recount, i believe nothing would make him happier than to know just how much people enjoyed the concert!!! :-)

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  13. Thanks for your comment,Angeliki. Un gran concierto en el que Rolando por lo visto vuelve a crear la misma catársis colectiva.Es hermoso ver como un cantante de ópera crea esta alegria y entusiasmo irreprimible en el público.Me parece un caso único en la historia de la ópera.Gracias Rolando ,tu sabes mejor que nadie crear afición a la ópera.Por último una mención especial a la excelente Nino Machaidze que debutará en el Liceu cantando la Marie de La Fille du Régiment en 2010.A parte de ser una grandísima cantante es una mujer bellísima.

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  14. MUY BIEN, ANGELIKI!

    Ya ves la cantidad de comentarios, agradecimientos y emociones que han generado tus magníficos comentarios.

    BESOS ROLANDEROS !

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  15. I was also lucky enough to be at this incredible recital, and tears surely came to my eyes when I heard En Fermant Les Yeux, I truly hope he will join us again, because the chance to witness the leading tenor at this point live is something truly unique for every person who loves this genre, and even more for me due to my being a Tenor too and I feel like I learned from this performance. Viva Villazon!!!

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  16. Oh and by the way, I recorded all of Rolando's arias and duets from the recital if anyone is interested.

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  17. maria teresa5/11/08 9:07

    Bueno, poco a poco irán escribiendo todos los que estuvieron en el concierto!!!Qué bien!Gracias DimiTsin por compartirlo con nosotros! Efharistó y Viva Villazón!

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  18. Hi dimitsin! I am definitely interested in your recordings!!! :) I don't know how to contact you, but the Viallazonistas have my email... Kind regards.

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  19. Sorry to react so late but I could not post ! I was so thrilled to read how much you enjoyed Rolando's recital,and you understood so well what we all share when we go and see him performing .
    I hope to see him in Werther in paris
    and for sure I will be at his Pleyel reital in May .
    Isn'it fantastic this international lyrical frienship with our Rolando ?
    Thanks a lot
    Yvette( former Hescchydri)

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  20. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR COMMENT, DimiTsin!

    We would be very grateful if you could send the links to the recordings to our e-mail address, which is listed to the right, below Rolando's black and white picture.

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  21. Comme je l'avais demandé le 2/11, je suis évidemment "passionnément" intéressée par l'enregistrement de ce concert.
    MERCI à DimiTsin de ce qu'il pourra faire parvenir aux Villazonistas, et aux Villazonistas de ce qui circulera...
    Quelle merveilleuse idée, que ce blog !
    Cordialement
    Catherine

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  22. on ne sait rien de DimiTsin...
    nothing is known of DimiTsin...

    DIMITSIN, please !

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  23. Este comentario ha sido eliminado por un administrador del blog.

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  24. DIMITSIN SAID:

    Sorry for the delay, I have had not had a lot of time on my hands but I will gladly send you whoever is interested the rolando villazon recital recordings.

    Whoever is interested contact to Villazonistas!!!

    (email to sidebar right)

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