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Villazon, horses and toothpaste…

Well he was quite something, wasn’t he? What struck me, apart from his tremendous energy, humour and complete lack of divo-like arrogance, was his taste in tenors – Juan Diego Florez and Jonas Kaufmann  in particular – both not only supremely elegant singers but reflective and creative artists. It was great to see clips of old and young Domingo, and to be reminded of the influence of Mario Lanza (particularly apt in view of Marjan Kiepura’s comments further down these pages). There was a bit too much Verdi for me, and not enough Wagner (a bit of Ben Heppner wouldn’t have frightened people too much). Bizarre to have Alagna speaking in French when he’s perfectly competent in English. Rolando singing into the horn was a great idea (and his reaction priceless) – it really gave you a sense of what’s missing from early recordings.

I liked the format. I’m not sure my little contribution added very much – a lot of what I said in the original recording was actually illustrated very engagingly by Villazon himself and it was much better TV that way. It’s a pity I didn’t think to ask him if I could post the cartoon he drew of the two of us, because it’s absolutely him – you can almost hear it.  And it had all been rather tidied up – I remember lots of twinkly bits that didn’t find their way into the final cut. The best bits were where his spontaneous reactions were left in. But what a phenomenon – and that lovely bit at the end which could so easily have been tenor ego-mania in full flood but was just him being almost childishly amazed at what he was doing…

2 Responses to “Villazon, horses and toothpaste…”

  1. Steve Thorn says:

    Hi John

    I missed the programme, but i have seen other things with Rolando Villazon in it, and i just had to agree with you. I always marvel at this famous person just being himself and having fun along the way, but when the voice comes out to play WOW. We just all are there in complete heaven.

  2. John Potter says:

    He is a remarkable person – what you see is what you get. His final point in the programme was that what all these star tenors have in common is charisma. He’s certainly one of the most charismatic people I’ve ever met.

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