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<<  -- 3 --  Bill Newman    MENOTTI AT SPOLETO


Enough reminiscing, my appointment with the Maestro was for 14.30. Edmund and I, though, had to wait a further hour and a half, because his staff didn't want to wake him. Very sensibly, he needed the extra rest as his leg, which had started to trouble him again, had started playing up. A gorgeous young lady - Elisabeta - kept us entertained, so we kept her chatting while we imbibed endless soft drinks, admiring the architecture and decor.

When Menotti arrived he was apologetic: 'But they should have awakened me!' I think he appreciated my reply. Any delay was well worth it, for in a wondrous way the full charisma of the surrounds implants charm and confidence to all who visit, particularly as it was festival time and everyone was full of proud, past achievements. You have only to read and relish the photos in the beautiful publication Spoleto Festival to realize that! Eager beavers surrounded me in the restaurant afterwards: ' How did I do?'

Rehearsal for 'Joan of Arc at the Stake' at Spoleto, 2000. Photo: Bill Newman

Next day came the rehearsals for the Honegger masterwork: the site, a raised platform in front of the Piazza Duomo (which you can see in adjacent photos). The seating extends backwards on a gradual slope, the whole area sealed from all except those attending the concert itself, but open at all other times to everyone, including the many press photographers eager to snap the artists taking part. I espied pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and managed a few words in between fans commenting on his immaculate dress wear.

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Copyright © 22 August 2000 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK




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