The third Signature Event, held as a benefit concert, by Opera de Montreal was an undeniable success. As the third event of its kind, this Signature Event definitely sets the stakes high for next year. Listening to Salvator Licitra producing a beautiful musical partnership with the Orchestre Metropolitain du Grand Montreal conducted by Eugene Kohn was a dream. The power of the man referred to as the "fourth tenor" and worthy successor to Pavarotti, Domingo and Carreras was absolutely divine. Licitra has only continued to exceed his successful debut at the Metroplitan Opera in May 2002 and one cannot imagine this status changing any time soon. As a performer he appears born for the stage and as a man, gifted by the powers that be.
I have to say that I enjoyed Licitra's soaring tenor to the utmost listening to "Nessun dorma" of Turandot. Every song was definitely magical (I felt like Licitra could sing my soul right from my very body) during "O figli, o figli miei…Ah, la paterna mano" of Macbeth or "La fleur que tu m'avais jetée" of Carmen but Turandot had to be the most amazing. Of course, when Licitra was joined by a guest soprano for his second encore (the audience would not let him go until three solid encores were performed) it sent shivers down my spine.
Watching Eugene Kohn, visiting conductor, added an interesting dimension to the experience. Kohn is a man who built his reputation as concert pianist as well as accompanist to Maria Callas, Franco Corelli, Renata Tebaldi and Luciano Pavorotti and he definitely had his high moments. One could almost feel his delight at performing again with someone as talented as Licitra. The Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra pulled out all the stops to keep up with Kohn and Licitra. Fingers flew until these masterpieces were reproduced to their original glory. One cannot help but believe that the best of the best eventually finds its way to the fair city of Montreal and is dutifully granted warm welcome with well-deserved respect.
The Sicilian Vespers
A Masked Ball
Children's Games, Op. 21