Juan Diego Flórez, drunkenness

Twenty-five minutes of bis and reminders! Who to unleash such passions on Monday evening under the gilding of Victoria Hall? Juan Diego Flórez, of course. The phenomenon of classical singing, which provokes the most authentic popular enthusiasm as well as respect for the most cutting-edge musical circles, has not failed either in its reputation or in its own tradition.

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His legendary encore on the guitar made the audience sing at the top of their lungs or whisper the most famous Italian and Latin American tunes with closed mouths. His unique way of giving himself completely to the music and of offering himself in the same way to the public set fire to the evening. And the defended pieces have shown him unfailingly at the forefront of his art.

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From beautiful singing (Rossini, Donizetti) to the French repertoire (Lalo, Bizet, Massenet) to the great Italian (Puccini, Mascagni) or Austrian (Lehar) romanticism, the tenorissimo Peruvian has crossed repertoires with the panache, elegance, affection, virtuosity and finesse that we know him. And this “more” that he is the only one to possess so naturally and so sympathetically: the intoxication of singing and of the public. An intoxication widely shared by the room which celebrated it at length, at the height of its performance.

At the height of pleasure

Among the good number of arias, included or outside the program, all had their rightful place, with special mentions for Don José (The flower you threw at me), Werther (Why wake me), Nemorino (A furtive tear) or Calaf (No sleep), which closed the concert in an overheated atmosphere, the audience, the soloist and the orchestra singing and playing at the height of pleasure.

Compared to other concerts elsewhere, we must admit that something more happened on the Geneva scene. This supplement, we owe it to Daniel Harding, who led the Orchester de la Suisse romande (OSR) on the path of unreserved general agreement. The orchestral support was almost a symbiosis as the reciprocal listening of the singer and the conductor gave the feeling of a single musical dynamic, carried out crescendo. And the purely symphonic passages (Overtures from Barber of Seville and of Guillaume Tell, Bohemian dance from Carmen, intermezzo you Cavalleria Rusticana) were exemplary of engagement and orchestral richness.

Total conquest

Technically, Juan Diego Flórez doesn’t let go. His breath seems infinite (the endless final outfit of the “cucurrucucu” of the Paloma offered in bis is the perfect illustration). His accuracy and his frank attack are striking. The delicacy of its musicality, the modeling of its vocal lines, its supple legato, its silver stamp and its fiery highs are breathtaking.

Perfection? That would be sad. Juan Diego Flórez evolves beyond. He lives in song, from classical to song. By taking his guitar at the end, played quite simply, the musician expresses his affection to the listeners without further ado. An irresistible feeling that echoes back to him. And in which the soloist plunges with delight. Kisses, flower thrown in, open arms and hand on heart: the conquest is total.

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