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And on to the special charm of the Immling festival: as always, there was the traditional gathering of singers in the hospitality tent afterwards, and many of them delivered a few arias while the audience ate their dinner and clapped enthusiastically.

Conductor Cornelia von Kerssenbrock announcing special guest Alik Abdukayumov. Photo © 2008 Philip Crebbin
Conductor Cornelia von Kerssenbrock announcing special guest Alik Abdukayumov. Photo © 2008 Philip Crebbin

As a late-night surprise bonus, Cornelia von Kerssenbrock, the conductor and sister of Verena, took to the microphone and announced a very special guest: an Uzbekistan baritone with an unpronounceable name, Alik Abdukayumov. He came on stage and blew everyone away with just one song, L'ultima canzone by Tosti. His impressive range, spanning all of lyric to dramatic at full voice, left the audience members first speechless and then clapping for more -- but the hour was late and the special guest, regrettably, had to leave. This he did together with his agent, Beate Mennicken, who also has the likes of Zoran Todorovich and Robert Dean Smith on her PR-management books.

Alik Abdukayumov sings Tosti at the Immling Summer Music Festival. Photo © 2008 Philip Crebbin
Alik Abdukayumov sings Tosti at the Immling Summer Music Festival. Photo © 2008 Philip Crebbin

 

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Copyright © 9 July 2008 Tess Crebbin, Munich, Germany

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