Yesterday evening I attended a recital by Ferruccio Furlanetto at Copley Symphony Hall in San Diego. The concert was a collaboration between the San Diego Opera and the San Diego Symphony.
Simply: it was a powerful and deeply moving experience. The combination of a full symphony orchestra and one of the world’s great opera stars stirred my soul and mind in a way that very, very few things can–not unlike the world’s greatest literature or poetry.
Both the quiet moments and the thunder seemed the very elements of human life, but exquisitely condensed, made poignant. During the diverse program, Ferruccio’s voice rose through the hall with sadness, memory and yearning. It was a performance that lifted me as I listened, and as I watched.
And I didn’t understand most of the words that he sang!
A voice that can express high passion with minute subtlety is a rare thing, indeed. Ferruccio was brilliant, and now I want to experience more of the opera.
It was a shame that I saw very few youthful faces in the audience. I suppose the opera is a medium that relies largely on reverence to tradition. But the opera could easily speak to modern, younger audiences. Much of human experience is universal. We all have those same feelings that are expressed in the opera: the same passions and tensions that result from human interaction. I challenge writers and composers to renew the opera and make it less stuffy, less repetitive, less beholden to the past. Our present world is full of great issues and movements. Make these part of a living art, one that moves boldly and experimentally forward into the future.
Because art is ultimately about life. Our lives.
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