Tuesday, September 06, 2011

RIP Salvatore Licitra

Tragic news is through that the tenor Salvatore Licitra has died in Sicily, aged 43. He had been in a coma since an accident on his Vespa ten days ago.

Licitra was a late starter in the operatic world, beginning his career at 30, and making his Metropolitan Opera debut as a last-minute replacement for Pavarotti in Tosca. His voice and progress alike proved somewhat patchy and the comparison to Pavarotti was iniquitous, raising expectations of him too high, too soon; but at his finest, he was a performer of great charm, musicality and flair. The LA Times assesses his chequered career in more depth here.

It would be nice to think that the loss of Licitra might prove a strong enough blow to induce Italy - and other places - to introduce a legal requirement to wear a helmet when riding any type of motorbike. Probably it won't, but if it did, it would be a fitting memorial to a much-loved musician.