Beniamino Gigli was my father’s favourite. Dad introduced me to opera through Gigli’s powerful but so sweet and gentle tenor voice. As always, when I listen to Gigli, thoughts of Dad come rushing back. We used to sit in the dark in the front room ( the best, not often used room ) while mum got dinner ready. Little brother would be in bed, and Dad played his much loved 78 rpm records to me, pointing out the differences in Gigli’s sweet tones from Caruso’s more traditional great tenor powerfulness. Sitting there in the darkness, with Dad, sharing his music was so special, and it was all mine, not shared with mum, or little brother.
(Clicking on the above link should give you a few minutes of Gigli's beautiful voice)
|Me and dad, 2004, in Provence|
So, today, in my French salon, with the sunlight filtering through the doors that lead onto my beloved terrace, I am pottering around, rearranging plants, dusting things, and generally tidying up. I am sort of smiling as I listen to Gigli’s beautiful voice, but as always it is a sad smile, just hating the fact that Dad isn’t here enjoying the pool, the food, the weather, his children and grandchildren and “step” great -grandchildren, playing golf with Mark and, today, again sharing Gigli with me.