Now we know why Andrea hates
Finally, finally, finally I went to see Andrea in concert! Even from the top section, farthest away from the stage, it was wonderful.
First, a heartfelt "Brava!" to Patrizia Orciani for her gracious endurance of a crackling microphone malfunction during her first solo. She sang without pause and without flinching when a technician approached and knelt behind her and worked on her battery pack for what must have seemed an eternity. When the sound cleared, she waved away the audience's applause for her aplomb during such a nightmare.
Andrea made comment upon his return to the stage for the next pieces. "Now you know why I hate microphones," he said, drawing chuckles and applause from the audience.
On the eve of the Pope's funeral, the dedication of the sacred music to the Holy Father's memory was particularly touching. I believe it meant a great deal to many in the audience to have this favourite of voices express their own feelings regarding the Pope's passing.
I took a five hour train ride from Ottawa to Toronto and met my best friend for the exciting evening. (This was her birthday present from me.) I took a pair of good binoculars to help see everything. Considering how difficult it can be to amplify and balance the sound of an entire orchestra, a choir and two singers, and that it was in a venue best designed for loud rock music, hockey and basketball, the quality of the sound was amazing even in my high seating (with the exception of the difficulties with Ms. Orciani's microphone.)
My friend and I reflected that every part of what we had seen and heard was more than worthwhile, even though I had anticipated going and only politely listening to the parts that didn't include Andrea. Maestro Mercurio's Mercurial Overture and the William Tell Overture were my favourites of the instrumental pieces.
I felt truly enriched by the variety in the pieces that Andrea chose to sing and was really and truly grateful to be able to hear LIVEthe "power tenor" high notes hit perfectly. The ending of "Nessun Dorma"...I had to pinch myself to believe I was hearing it. I kept watching Andrea on the big screens when they showed close-ups and have to say that I can SEE as well as HEAR a huge difference in his vocal technique when compared to how he sang on the video of "A Night in Tuscany." He really has come into his own vocally.
My friend pointed out that Andrea's emotional connection to a piece shines through his performance. She has heard more technically perfect opera singers and felt uninspired by their performances, but that Andrea had both the voice and the emotions to rivet a crowd of thousands in ways that no others have been able.
The return to the piano bar days during the third encore with "My Way" was one of many favourites. My friend felt that Andrea didn't have enough grit to sing this particular song a la Sinatra, but I thought that was the point. Andrea did it HIS way.
I have to say that there seemed to be a bit of confusion, at least on the audience's part, when Ms. Orciani joined Andrea on the stage for the fourth and final encore of "Time to Say Goodbye" and Andrea started the song in the original "Con te partirò" format. It appeared that Ms. Orciani looked at him suddenly. Had it been a mistake? There was no indication from Andrea that it should have been sung any other way, though, despite the murmuring of the audience, and when Ms. Orciani joined him in the last choruses and the final note, it was breathtaking.
I was sorely tempted to buy last minute tickets and travel the five hours over to Montreal for another opportunity, but I settled for a duet with Elmo on Sesame Street the next morning.
Submitted by Janice Ruppenthal, Ottawa