How a Wagner hero handled London’s opera snobsmain
Here’s a fond memory of the dockworker-turned-heldentenor Alberto Remedios by Bill Leece, former music critic of the Liverpool Echo:
My colleague David Utting in the London office of the Liverpool Echo interviewed Alberto once in the run-up to Tristan at the Coliseum. The interview went very well – he was a friendly chap who held the Echo in high regard – and after he formal part was over, Alberto asked David if he was coming to the first night a few days later. Alas, no.
The grandees of English National Opera regarded the Echo as somewhat beneath them, and David was on too tight a budget to buy his own. “Hang on a minute.” He picked up the internal phone to the press office and cranked up the Scouse accent a couple of notches. “It’s Alberto here. If the Liverpool Echo doesn’t get press tickets for next Thursday, I’m not f***ing singing. OK?” The tickets were waiting at the door, and from then the end of the Echo’s London operation they remained on the door for every first night.”
Alberto died on Saturday, aged 81.