Your great competition, our great competition, came to an end. To name it
“competition”, as I already had the opportunity to say, is reductive since the
series of spectacular artistic, musical and cultural events promoted by the
Darclée Foundation in the last two weeks is much more than that.
I tell you sincerely, the compliments are useless. What all of us have seen and
listened to is at the level of an international artistic festival. I think that
Verdi’s centennial could not have been celebrated in a better way. The three
evenings dedicated to the music of the great composer are as many results of an
involvement that has deep-going roots. They are the result of a life-long
passion and of years of dedicated master guidance of young artists.
To imagine a program so complex and of such a diversity, to put together a group
of young voices capable to cope easily, and sometimes exceptionally, with the
vocal requierements of Verdi’s writing (the focus of the richest critical debate
these days and thereby considered the most complex type of writing), to prepare
two orchestras and a choir at the level that we all admired, are not common
Your participation in the Verdi Choir Concert and Verdi Arias Concert
brought that thrill of emotion that only an extraordinary artist like you can
provide, leaving all of us with the nostalgia of full performances of roles in
which we would have liked to see you: Leonora in Il Trovatore, Lady
Macbeth in Macbeth.
The competition was most exciting, a triumph. Even in our diversity of tastes
and personal opinions we have all appreciated the extraordinary level of the
finalists. The organisation - with all the difficulties that you dealt with in
person - was, as always, perfect. And the International Jury that you brought
together was an extraordinary example of competence and remarkable human
qualities. For all that and for many other reasons that I will never forget, I
owe you my thanks, expressed with affection and sincerity, with devotion.
I came back to Milan stronger than before: there still are in the world of music
possibilities to work with passion, dedication, love for the theatre, the music
scores, the young artists, the voice! I came back with the hope that I too can
find the dimension, the place, the team of my dreams.
I came back convinced that my love for you surpasses my esteem and admiration,
if that is possible. I understood that when my soul full of passion started
shining with emotional involvement simply by working by your side, by your
deeply humane nature.
You are an extraordinary Lady, dear Mariana, and it’s wonderful that you are
what you are.
You will soon be coming to Milan to offer Master Classes and we will be
all around you, watching you working with the young artists, sharing those
lessons of love, respect and professionalism.
Not only they, but all of us get stronger thanks to that extremely rare kind of
creative energy. You do everything with an immense love. Each detail, each
strategic choice is dictated by passion. And your energy is contagious. Nobody
can stay near you without catching it. I was fully contaminated: for me also
everything became important, fundamental, necessary. From the disposal of the
plants and lime lights to the psychic and physical health of the candidates, to
Violetta’s and Alfredo’s gestures on stage, to the accents written by Verdi for
each cabaletta, to the glasses of water never used by any competitor, but which
had to be there nevertheless as a sign of attention, respect, love.
Our Traviata will remain forever in my heart. Like Don Giovanni,
two years ago.
And our friendship will always remain: sound, flourishing, strong. Forgive my
emotional moments. I know you can understand them.
Please, say thank you to Braila for me, for allowing my humble participation in
such a great event, capable to give life, enthusiasm, hope.
These words come from the bottom of my heart, and I would like them to be
accepted by your heart, as Verdi would say.
I hope to embrace you not before long, to be near you. I miss your voice, I miss
your furies, I miss your laugh. You can’t imagine how much I miss you.
With all my love,
Teatro alla Scala