In 1991, the baritone Gino Quilico has had a unique experience by participating in the creation of the opera The Ghosts of Versailles. A contemporary work which will be broadcast tonight and Friday on the website of the Metropolitan Opera.
This work of the american composer John Corigliano is an opera in the opera house. Beaumarchais, Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI are in purgatory. The writer decides to write a new opera for the fun of Marie-Antoinette, who moans and who did not return to have been beheaded.
“Beaumarchais” brings to the stage, in the opera, Figaro, Rosina, Count Almaviva, Susanna and Cherub, that we find in The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro.
Gino Quilico remembers this period of creation, which has led to the presentation of this work in a world premiere at the Met. An adventure that he describes as extraordinary.
The Ghosts of Versailles was commissioned to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Met in 1983. It was presented eight years later.
John Corigliano was heard singing Gino Quilico, and he wanted to entrust to him the role of Figaro.
“I’m not crazy crazy about contemporary music, and I wasn’t convinced at the start. I was to meet him in New York and he convinced me”, he told, during a phone interview.
Accessible and open
The vocals of Figaro are more conventional compared to those of the characters of the ghosts that are more contemporary.
“John Corigliano was open to our suggestions and even changes during the period of creation. He was accessible, kind and adorable,” said the baritone.
It is extremely rare that an opera singer can work with the composer of a work.
“It is as if I had been alive at the time of Verdi and Puccini, and that I had been able to work with them. It was an extraordinary experience. We could make a book with the creation of this work”, he dropped.
The Ghosts of Versailles is also the last opera that Gino Quilico has repeated with his mother Lina Pizzolongo died of cancer, three months before the world premiere on 19 December 1991.
“She was sick, came out of her bed and she sat at the piano. She has taught in the role of Figaro”, he stated.
The baritone, a native of New York, who has sung in several productions, and around 150 performances at the Met, almost hurt when the last in the opera house Manhattan.
“I was very physical. I was singing and I was running everywhere. I have taken for Superman and I decided, at the last, to do a pirouette. I fell on my tailbone. I was on adrenaline and it didn’t show too much. It can be stupid, sometimes, even to the opera”, he started laughing.
Gino Quilico has the intention of watch the online streaming of The Ghosts of Versailles.
“I’ll watch it with my joint on my big screen. I have not seen this production since the Met has released a video in 1993. I have it and I don’t look at it ever. I’m going to do it at the same time as everyone else and live”, he said.
He hopes that the Met will present, in the course of his next few weeks of broadcast free, one of the operas featuring her father, Louis. There are productions being filmed where you see it in the operas Rigoletto, Don Carlo and un Ballo in Maschera of Verdi.
The Ghosts of Versailles is presented free of charge today from 19: 30 on the website of the Metropolitan Opera and also on the application Met Opera on Demand. It will be online until 18: 30 on Friday.