New Honorary Board Members

C’era una volta – Once upon a time!

The happy outcome is that Juan Diego Florez and Daniela Barcellona have graciously agreed to become members of the Honorary Board of the Friends of the Rossini Opera Festival.

In an announcement from the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Alexander Crary, the President of the Friends stated: “I extend a warm welcome to singers, Daniela Barcellona and Juan Diego Flórez, who have joined the Honorary Board of the ‘Friends of the ROF’. It is a great pleasure to have these distinguished artists join the ‘Friends’ in this special capacity. Their support and friendship is deeply appreciated”.

This is indeed wonderful news. The Friends recently mourned the loss of two members of the Honorary Board Claudio Abbado and Luca Ronconi. In the best opera tradition, after sadness comes joy, and that is what this announcement brings us all.

But back to “una volta”. The story of the breakthrough of Juan Diego Florez at the Rossini Opera Festival has been told elsewhere on this site. In 1996 he came to participate in a master class at the Accademia Rossiniana as well as sing a “minor role” in Ricciardo e Zoraide. The lead tenor in Matilce di Shabran, withdrew, and the rest is history. But,Ricciardo e Zoraide was still “historic” that year, because Daniela Barcellona who had graduated from the Accademia the year before sang the role of Elmira ( note to those who don’t know the opera, it’s not a “trouser role”!)

So, we are indeed fortunate to have these wonderful artists who have been connected to the Rossini Opera Festival as members of the Honorary Board. It is we who are honored.

(Juan Diego Flórez Photo: Decca / Josef Gallauer)