Pene Pati, a voice in a state of grace

The sudden fame of a singer is often played on a stroke of poker. This is the case of the tenor Pene Pati, saving in extremis the production of the Romeo and Juliet, by Gounod, presented in December 2021, at the Opéra-Comique. The day before, the young man sang Alfredo de The Traviata, de Verdi, programmed at the Amsterdam Opera. Salle Favart, the Romeo of Jean-François Borras, declared positive for Covid-19, could not ensure the general. Until December 26, the Samoan will go back and forth between the French and Dutch stages.

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This Romeo fallen from the sky did not have time either to rehearse with the conductor, Laurent Campellone, or to familiarize himself with the staging of Eric Ruf. But Paris gives him a triumph. Especially since her Juliette is in an even more perilous situation: soprano Perrine Madoeuf arrived the same day of the show, after Julie Fuchs, who tested positive on the morning of the premiere, found herself forced to cancel her take. of role. Unlike his partner, Pene Pati is not a complete stranger. A few weeks earlier, he made a sensational debut as Nemorino at the Paris Opera in the revival of The Elixir of Love, by Donizetti, directed by Laurent Pelly.

Caressing halftones

At 34, the tenor, born on November 10, 1987, in the Samoa archipelago, then settled with his parents in 1989 in Auckland, New Zealand, first sang in various choirs before taking his classes. in Cardiff, Wales (at the invitation of the Welsh tenor Dennis O’Neill), then in California. He performs with Sol3 Mio, a trio he has formed since 2011 with his brother Amitai, also a tenor, and with his baritone cousin, Moses Mackay. In 2015, a double award (second prize as well as the audience prize) won at the Operalia Placido Domingo singing competition opened the doors to opera for her. It was in San Francisco, where he studied as part of the Adler Program, that Pene Pati made his debut in 2017 as Duke of Mantua, in the Rigoletto, by Verdi. In France, he will first pass through the Bordeaux box – Percy in Anna Bolena, by Donizetti, in 2018, then, in 2020, Romeo and Juliet, de Gounod.

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The one whose solar stamp is often compared to that of Luciano Pavarotti has for him a powerful song, capable of caressing halftones, a great beauty of style. Witness the first recital of airs from Italian and French operas (a language he speaks perfectly), released in March by Warner Classics. On the program, an excerpt from Moses and Pharaoh, by Rossini, in which the tenor sings the role of the young Egyptian prince Amenhotep, delivering a delightful glimpse of the delights promised this summer, in Aix-en-Provence.

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