Aún emocionada, nuestra amiga Ingrid me ha hecho llegar esta crónica de Il Postino, a la que asistió ayer por la noche. Mille grazie, cara!
Il Postino, Opera in 3 acts by Daniel Catán
Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris , 30 June 2011
Had the very chance to see the last of four performances, yesterday, and tell you, I was very excited! While the warm evening sun plunged Place du Châtelet into a golden light, I sipped on my glass of cool champagne and wrote a letter to the Maestro, green carton and red envelope! My inspiration led me to write about Domingo’s energy, which is transferred to me like gasoline, a few minutes before kick off I was completely relaxed for this new adventure.
My seat was among those closest to the stage, on the balcony’s head, overlooking the auditorium, the orchestra and… of course… the scene. An overture introduces you into Catán’s style: I will not hold up with descriptions or judgments, you should hear it by yourself! The scenes are pure and essential, the colours put me in holiday mood, I almost can smell Cala di Sotto, the islands of Italy, Bella Italia, I miss you so much!
My recent wish to learn Spanish increase my attention and forces me not to read the French subtitles. Anyway, the play of the singers and my memory of Michael Bradford’ movie help to follow easily. Southern California native tenor Daniel Montenegro, handsome graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, gives a very good Mario with a voice, opera lovers will hear more often in near future. I can hardly wait, anyway, that Villázon pulls on the postman dress, this role is definitively tailor-made for Rolando. The first look on Plácido is simply fantastic: there HE is, Pablo Neruda, Philippe Noiret, no, Plácido Domingo in his 137th role, I get goose bumps.
Of course, this Neruda is not an extremely demanding role, no long arias (hélas). But the score gives Plácido numerous possibilities of showing his virile power of his voice; you can really and truly touch the enthusiasm of his outstanding performance. Cristina Gallardo-Domâs (Matilde) and Amanda Squitieri (Beatrice Russo) fit perfectly and please a lot. The mise-en –scène, the fluent play, a contemporary, yet fortunately not too modern music, the singers and walk-ons, the entire package was superb. The final applause is frenetic, strong, with permanent standing ovations and lasts for more almost twenty minutes and more. I spot out one of Domingo’s sons, Alvaro, right below me, in the orchestra stalls. Plácido sends kiss hands to him and to us, knees down and gives a kiss to the stage floor. Two bunches of red roses are firstly handed out to Cristina and Amanda, before being split and fairly distributed to the cast.
Placido, apparently in top form throws a rose like a javelin into the audience, the lucky lady catching it embraces the flower like a retrieved baby. We all wave and send kisses, HURRAs and BRAVIs and we do not want to leave. A rushing to the artist’s entrance reveals to be useless: about 50 Domingo fans already queue up and it will take about an hour before Plácido appears. Alvaro takes care of his father’s comfort and an agent acts like a mixture of bullterrier gone wild and a hysterical policeman. Plácido is relaxed and takes his seat behind a small wooden desk facing the street windows. The auburn hair for his Neruda look turned again into the original silvery coiffure.
We can approach only ten of us at a time and we are check-it quicker than at any airport. One, two, three, step forward, go go go, stop, hop, dissolve! Right before it comes to my turn I can approach Alvaro first, say hello and deposit my utmost misery: the lack of a photographer. Alvaro is indulgent as his papa: he will shoot the picture! In front of the Maestro, my knees seem to abandon me. A short exchange of words in four languages, two signatures on photos and a terrific ‘to Ingrid con amore – Plácido Domingo’ on my program follow, just before I slide down at the side of the world’s best tenor and ‘click’, Alvaro takes THE picture, before delivering to me the cherry on this cake: A big hug and two kisses on my cheeks. The unforgettable evening came to an end with a gin and tonic on a terrace near Châtelet, in company of a Dutch Domingo fan, and a chat with fours walk-ons (a fisherman, a soldier, a flag-wagging extra, and Mario’smurderer) . See you again soon, Plácido!