The tenor who gave flowers to his prompter

The tenor who gave flowers to his prompter


norman lebrecht

June 16, 2016

Much was made in London reviews of the loud prompt received by Placido Domingo during a recent opening night of Nabucco at Covent Garden.

Today’s Telegraph obituary of Alberto Remedios reveals that the great English heldentenor was unashamed of acknowledging a little help with lapsed memory.

Despite his thrilling voice, Remedios struggled with memorising his lines. Once during Siegfried the front-row audience at ENO could hear frequent whispers from the prompt box. As the applause thundered at the end he picked up one of the flowers that had been thrown on stage and strode over to the box to present it to the unseen prompter. The audience cheered even louder until Remedios helped the prompter on to the stage to take a well-earned bow.

He often worked with Rita Hunter, with whom he was close, and much fun was had by their respective families when they appeared together and she sang the line: “Oh Siegfried, don’t you know how much I love you?” On another occasion, when he was singing Erik in The Flying Dutchman at Covent Garden, Hunter’s character Senta had to leap from a cliff to her death. He forgot that they were on stage and called after her: “Are yer al’ right, Scouse?”

alberto remedios

For a personal appreciation of Alberto, see here.