Musicus interruptus (4): The car horn sounds in Figaro and the wall comes tumbling down

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  • The scene is Holland Park Opera Lirica at the end of May 1991 – the first opera of the summer season. The last act of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Cio-Cio San is singing the immortal ‘Un Bel Di’ [One Fine Day] – except – outside the open air theatre is raging a howling storm with the rain falling in bucketloads to such an extent that it bypasses the gutters on the roof and jets horizontally out beyond the auditorium in continuous sheets. All this while our intrepid soloist is sweetly singing her poignant refrain – to the accompaniment of hundreds of gallons of descending rainwater.

  • Reminiscent of a summer outdoor opera on the Thames riverbank years ago when Butterfly realized she’d committed hari-kari too soon, getting back up to sing her final phrases.

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