Today's Classical Music Video

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Salvatore Licitra Sings Manrico in Il Trovatore (La Scala, Milano 2000)

Yesterday (Sept. 5th 2011) the opera world lost one of the brightest tenor stars to come out of Italy in recent years, tenor Salvatore Licitra. On Saturday August 27, Licitra sustained massive trauma to his head and chest when he lost control of his Vespa scooter in Sicily and slammed into a wall. He was airlifted to Garibaldi Hospital in Catania where he underwent surgery. He remained in a coma until his passing on Sept. 5. Licitra, born in Bern Switzerland of Sicilian parents and grew up in Milano, burst onto the international scene when he replaced an ailing Luciano Pavarotti as Cavaradossi at the Met in 2002. To my knowledge, his appearance in Canada was limited to a concert at Place des Arts in June 2004, a recital at Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall in January 2005, and his appearance as guest soloist in the Bel Canto Foundation Gala Concert in Toronto on September 29, 2010. A singer with a warm and robust Italianate timbre and a generous stage persona, Licitra sang with a beautiful voice and lots of heart. To remember him, here is an unusual selection from Youtube - a complete opera! This is a 2000 La Scala performance of Il Trovatore starring Licitra as Manrico, Barbara Frittoli as Leonora, Leo Nucci as di Luna, and Violeta Urmana as Azucena, under the baton of Riccardo Muti. This video caught Licitra near the beginning of his international career - not the most polished performance but exciting and ingratiating just the same. 

- Joseph K. So

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