Metro discord in opera concert

Published: Sunday, November 12, 2006, 20:59 [IST]
 

New Delhi, Nov 12 (UNI) A much-awaited metro service struck a discordant note in a 16th century setting to a world class opera concert to open the Festival of Italy in India here last evening.

The futuristic trains running on the Dwaraka-Indraprastha link on their first day hooted horns furiously to distract aficionados of opera music from the soulful songs of the soprano at the Parma Royal Theatre concert in the towering remains of the Purana Qila.

The promised marriage of East-West cultures represented by an opera house from the land of Giuseppe Verdi, one of the greatest opera composers of Italy, and a fort built in 1538 by Mughal emperor Humayun, sadly didn't happen.

Instead an East-West audience who thronged a cramped and cracking sitting space looked at each other in disgust as loud horns from the trains beat an efficient Daniela Bruera expressing Violetta Valery's musings in Verdi's famous opera, 'La Traviata'.

Even Macduff's laments of the death of his wife and children by his own brother in Verdi's epic 'Macbeth' sung by tenor Luca Canonici failed to stop the metro running over the first-ever performance of the Royal Parma Theatre in the country.

''The metro took away the pleasure of a perfect concert,'' said Soomesh Sharma, who came with his family and friends. ''The metro corporation probably wanted to take all the credit on its inaugural day.'' The cup of woes of the organisers overflowed when an elevated platform with seats on the top sunk several inches under the weight of the hundreds of people who were forced to stand and watch the opera after the seats were all taken much before the show.

The 60-member orchestra led by conductor Marco Boni was, however, not perturbed by the distractions. It went on to perform compositions from Gioachino Rossini's 'The Barber of Seville' and Vincenzo Bellni's 'Norma' and arias from Gaetano Donizetti's 'The Elixir of Love' and 'La Traviata'.

It may not have been a full-length opera, but the appealing 'From Paris, dear, we shall go away' duet from 'La Traviata' sung ecstatically by the soprano and the tenor clinging together in happiness before the eventual disaster left the impression nothing was missing.

UNI FZ SY HT1202

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