Nice to see Michael Aspinall back in via di Grotta Pinta where in the Teatro De Satiri all the great singers that he imitated came to see themselves mirrored in his inimitable performances.
A great musicologist immersed in the world of song and delving deep into the archives still rich with material from the eighteenth and nineteenth century Golden Age of Song.Let’s not forget that it was Aspinall who provided Monserrat Caballé with her cadenza embellishments with which she ravished the operatic world following on from the Belcanto of Callas and Sutherland.
Is Belcanto Dead ? What is Bel Canto ?These were on the table,turning back the clock,as we entered this magical old curiosity shop that is the Oratorio Orsini.
No sign of the Teatro de Satiri in this same square where Benny Margiotta filled this historic family owned theatre with delights that were sure to tittivate all the senses.
Arnaldo had the restaurant next door where artists performing in Rome would congregate after their performances relaxing with their artistic colleagues as they delighted in Arnaldo’s speciality of cream of chestnut pudding!
I remember bringing eighteen year old Vadim Repin and Margaret Price there after their performances just down the road at the Ghione Theatre. Dino Villatico,the distinguished music critic of La Repubblica lived above the restaurant.
It was the Ghione Theatre that Aspinall chose for his last public performance as the ‘Gentleman Soprano’ in 2010 – his seventieth year.
Now 13 years on,time has stood still for him as he is still flying high on Wings of Song !Well he did say he would come out of retirement if the money was right!
Here,this weekend, he came up from the Naples that has adopted him with open arms ,on the invitation of one of his former singing students and will be giving a masterclass too on the 4th .
Today there was a fascinating and very amusing talk from three passionate advocates of Belcanto.
Michael Aspinall “Cantare bene é facile”
Francesco Izzo “Belcanto dopo il belcanto:il caso Verdi”
Stefano Vizioli “Suonare il palcoscenico”Esperienza di un regista con donne e prime donne