Attila, Verdi, and Marciano

Copyright Keith Kenney, 2011

Susanna and I had great seats at the Tbilisi Opera House—seventh row, in the middle. But they weren’t good enough for me. After the first act of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Attila,” I moved to the front row, exactly in the middle (although the performance was superb, about half the seats were empty, so I look the liberty of moving closer). I asked the couple next to me if I could sit there and, in an Italian accent, they said yes. Then, as a conversation starter, I asked about an incident in the first half. The conductor stopped the opera, pointed at the tenor, said something, and then restarted the performance. My neighbors explained that someone in the audience had clapped at an inappropriate moment, which had startled the tenor, who probably got out of sync with the orchestra by a beat. I hadn’t noticed a problem, and neither had my 7th-row neighbors, until the conductor brought the opera to a halt. Fortunately I didn’t embarrass myself by saying anything derogatory because my new Italian friends were the parents of the conductor! Gianluca Marciano is the musical director and principal conductor of the Tbilisi Opera House, and he is a guest conductor at major opera houses around the world. I felt very sad, however, for the tenor. When all of the principal singers made their curtain call and acknowledged the audience’s applause, he remained backstage.


About keithrkenney
Keith Kenney is a professor of visual communication at the University of South Carolina. He is living in Tbilisi, Georgia, for a year. This blog is about several topics. "CSJMM-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management in Tbilisi, Georgia. "USC-Journalism" is about the students, faculty and staff members of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SJMC) at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, SC. CSJMM and SJMC are recipients of a "Journalism School Partnership" program grant from the US Department of State. The purpose of this $750,000 grant is to improve CSJMM and ensure its sustainability. "Tbilisi, Georgia" is about Susanna Melo and my experiences in Tbilisi. "Columbia, SC" will be about our experiences in our home town--Columbia--when we return home. "Georgia" is about Susanna and my experiences when we travel in Georgia outside of Tbilisi. "United States" is about our experiences traveling in the US. "Films and Photography" is about two documentary films I'm working on in Georgia. One story follows how Adishi handles the rapid tourism that is being developed in Svaneti. The other story follows Tamaz Jalagania, who is a craftsman of swords and guns, an opera singer, and an extraordinary storyteller. "Scholarship" is about my current books, articles, reviews, and grants.

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