Hastings date for La Scala star Ramtin Ghazavi with live performance at the Opus Theatre

Ramtin Ghazavi coming to  Opus Theatre
Ramtin Ghazavi coming to Opus Theatre

The Opus Theatre presents internationally-known tenor Ramtin Ghazavi in a stellar live performance on Saturday November 17 at 7.30pm.

He will perform with artist-in-residence and pianist Oliver Poole.

Oliver is keen for the Hastings audience at the venue in Cambridge Road to experience Ramtin’s exceptional talent.

He describes him as “strong, charismatic and virtuoso, yet able to convey a depth of emotion and sincerity that is raw, captivating and at times mystical.”

Ghazavi is largely associated with La Scala opera house in Milan where he has sung in a wide range of major productions including La Traviata, La Boheme, Die Fledermaus and Leonard Berstein’s Chichester Psalms. He has sung alongside the great Placido Domingo in Due Foscari.

He has performed in the major opera and concert halls of France, the US and other countries, as well as music festivals across Italy. He has now sung many of the leading roles in the classical operatic repertoire at the highest level.

Born in Iran as a member of the Baha’i community, Ramtin was barred from higher education, and there were no schools in the country teaching western classical music.

As a child he studied Persian classical music and then in his mid-teens a guitar-playing friend introduced him to western traditions, which led to him studying the piano and trying to find a vocal teacher – without success.

Ghazavi commented: “The internet wasn’t like it is today, so I had no access to YouTube or other ways to find and listen to the music easily. But I had some audio and videotapes of Pavarotti and Placido Domingo.”

Ghazavi’s life took a sudden turn when an Italian tourist happened to hear him singing Scarlatti’s Pieta, Signore, and helped him apply successfully to study opera in Italy in 2003. After two years at the Conservatory of Como, he successfully applied to the elite Milan Conservatory. Immersing himself in music by day and working in an Ikea warehouse by night to pay the bills, he was an outstanding student who also auditioned successfully for the chorus at La Scala.

In 2012 he released his first album Les Roses d’Ispahan featuring the ethereal composition by Gabriel Faure named after Isfahan, the ancient Iranian city where Ghazavi was born. It is a song he has never had the opportunity to perform publicly in his homeland. “I can’t perform and work in Iran because of my religion,” Ghazavi wrote. However he did manage to arrange a recital in the home of the Italian ambassador in Tehran in 2013, and launched the first Opera Masterclass in the city’s Italian school.

His concert at Opus in Cambridge Road will feature a selection of well-known arias from the Italian operatic repertoire, together with some Persian music including operatic arias, combining the familiar with the new. This promises to be a memorable evening.

Tickets £15 from www.opustheatre.co.uk or the Hastings Information Centre.

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