With Atlanta Opera, Santiago Ballerini Summits ‘The Mt. Everest Of Tenor Arias’

The Atlanta Opera presents Donizetti’s “The Daughter of the Regiment” on stage at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on Feb. 27 and March 2 and 4.
Santiago Ballerini (hoisted above, right) sings a star-making aria in the Atlanta Opera’s production of “The Daughter of the Regiment.” Photo by Jeff Roffman.

The Atlanta Opera is back on stage with a romantic and comedic opera that earned Luciano Pavarotti his lifelong nickname, “the King of the High C’s.”

Early in the first act of Donizetti’s “The Daughter of the Regiment,” the lead tenor sings the highest note a man can possibly sing — nine times in one minute.

On WABE’s radio program “City Lights,” Lois Reitzes spoke with Georgia State University Professor of Voice Rick Clement about what makes that famous aria from “The Daughter of the Regiment” so difficult.

Hear the interview >

“There’s a perfect stroke, and if you hit it just right, it’ll fly 300 yards,” Clement said. “If you swing harder, it won’t go 300 yards it’ll go 200 yards. And that’s what singing is, it’s a coordination.”

Reitzes also talked with Santiago Ballerini, who is singing the lead role (and the star-making aria) in the Atlanta Opera’s current production of “The Daughter of the Regiment.”

“You have to start the opera really warmed up, but at the same time that you are singing these high notes, you have to look fresh and funny and easy … It’s a great beginning to the opera.”

The Atlanta Opera presents Donizetti’s “The Daughter of the Regiment” on stage at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre on March 2 and 4.

This story originally appeared with an audio interview on WABE.org.

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