Flying down to Rio
Something so wonderful is bringing me back to one of my favorite publics in the world. For many years all the great singers would take giant ocean liners and follow Serafin and other great maestri for long seasons in South America. They heard all the greats and their publics are very very well educated.
Years ago, I made my debut in Rio at the famed Teatro Municipal in what they wonderfully call now a legendary performance(s) of AIDA, where I capped off the Triumphal Scene with a glowing high e flat and the public went into a delirium I had never seen before.
Like in so many opera films I was carried home by what looked like literally thousands of people and they stayed and sang under my window till the wee small hours. I was thrilled to say the least. So many international stars were there, and I must say I was the talk of the continent.
Almost every year after I would return there in concert or opera and fell in love with all the great South American capitals. Santiago, Chile was a favorite and Lima, Porto, Sau Paulo, Bela Orizonte, Brasilia, Caracas,and the great Colon of Buenos Aires. All very special and great publics, whom I adore and miss.
So, happily, I am returning to my beloved city of Rio de Janeiro for filmed performances of Tosca to celebrate with my great friend, Fernando Bicudo, the 75th anniverary of the ABAL organization, a fabulous group of opera lovers and artists, Bidu Sayao began many years ago.
This promises to be very emotional for me, and I am not what I want on film size wise, but it will be the last time I will be seen that heavy way on film or anywhere else, as I have resolved to finally address the weight obstacle. Ever the optimist, it is a good deal more complex than I could have ever imagined. So, it is meaningful for many reasons. I tried to beg off, as I am in the midst of the battle of the bulge, so to speak, and am winning but for it to be well and healthy it takes a bit of time. They pleaded with me that size means nothing, that they want my voice once more. Hard to resist.
The great theater is under repair so we are performing in the brand new opera house and will create new stories there for this historic opening. December 19 and 21st, I hope to give them all my love and join my soul once again to one of the truly great opera publics.