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But who was this gorgeous creature that had just joined him? None other than Renée Fleming for the love duet 'Gia nella notte densa' from Verdi's Otello. I went weak at the knees. Suddenly, the real core of what this gala event signified in musical terms came majestically across. And this is what the Spoleto audience realised at the rehearsal as well as the concert itself. Although I never had the chance of talking with Domingo, Renée was wonderfully gracious and totally unspoilt in the few words we had together. Hopefully, we will speak again soon. She gave stunning performances of Dvorák's O silver moon from Rusalka, and one of her favourite arias, 'Steal me sweet thief' from Menotti's The Old Man and the Thief.

Renée Fleming at Spoleto. Photo: Bill Newman

I must also express my admiration for Susan Bullock, who I first heard sing the Dvorák at Birmingham under Libor Pesek. He loved her singing and Susan played the lead in the Chandos recording of Menotti's The Consul. At the Gala she gave a glorious account of 'Dich teure Halle' from Wagner's Tannhauser.

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Copyright © 4 December 2001 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK

 

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THE SPOLETO FESTIVAL WEBSITE

BILL NEWMAN'S VISIT TO THE 2000 SPOLETO FESTIVAL

 

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