Andrew's Opera was previously published at

25 October, 2006

Oops, Gilda's D flat ... and, amateurs in major roles in Sydney Rigoletto!

Sydney Opera House

Friday 1st September 2006

Dear Colleagues,

The high note sung by Natalie Jones at the end of the quartet was an unwritten (at least in my Boosey & Hawkes score) D flat, not an E flat as I quoted in my earlier posting. So much for relying on memory. My apologies.

More important was that this was NOT the last Rigoletto. The company had replaced a previously scheduled Pirates of Penzance with David Hobson on Tuesday with a special performance of Rigoletto in which three principals would be replaced by 'talent-time' amateurs in the last act.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has run a series of several Sunday night television programs documenting a national talent search beginning in 2005. Some candidates were labourers, tradesmen, teachers, mothers, etc. Few had had much if any formal vocal training. Based on a similar exercise in the UK, the winner was meant to get to sing one role with the company. However, for reasons of 'fairness', they decided to allow the best three to each take part in part or all of the opera.

I was not at the performance, but several others I have spoken to said that it had much to commend it. Those in the know said that the winner, a young bass David Parkin who sang Sparafucile, should have a career in opera if he chooses to take that giant leap. I heard him on the television last weekend and he sounded and acted in a way to be noticed. He is an IT man with a legal firm. Good luck! Or as they say in the trade, 'break a leg!'

Regards, Andrew Byrne ..