Some of Enzo Dara’s colleagues have written tributes and recollections of the great basso buffo, who died after a long illness on 25 August 2017.
Teatro alla Scala left a declaration:
Enzo Dara has for decades been the basso buffo par excellence, offering the Rossini revival, as well as the Donizetti operas, performances infused with captivating comedy and enriched by his extraordinary acting talents, which came from a rigorous respect for the score and always resisted the temptation to exaggerate with winks and nudges to the audience.
Unsurprisingly, Claudio Abbado found him an ideal companion in his battle to bring Rossini’s comic operas back to their original elegance, freeing them from crude traditional embellishments.
With an impressive career of 1,500 performances, 76 characters, and over 30 recordings, the master of comic timing has left an important legacy for future generations.
He was a lovable stage personality, loved also by his many colleagues during a long career.
Ciao, this time you just ran off. We didn’t call each other as we normally do to tease each other about bicycle racing. For us, it was just carrying over what we did on stage: to tease each other, yes, but you, with your genius, beat me every time! I’ll miss you, as will the entire opera world.
And your dear beloved Ivana, with whom I took the first steps of my career, will miss you more than I can imagine. A heart full of pain and eyes full of tears are witnesses to the pain Adriana and I are feeling. Among the tears, I think of you on stage, and a sad smile comes to my lips.
Ciao dearest friend, your Leo Nucci
When I first discovered the world of opera and began to consider pursuing the dream of singing, Enzo Dara felt like a constant companion to me on that journey, for as I began to devour every Rossini recording and video that I could, it seemed as if he was everywhere, inviting me to laugh and be dazzled every step of the way.
When I finally shared the stage with him at La Scala in La Cenerentola, the sheer delight and JOY that he brought to the experience more than surpassed my expectations. The image I will never forget – even more than all his dazzling patter and unforgettable facial expressions – was one of him during our final performance: crouched in a tiny ball, tucked in the wings just off of stage left, tugging on a string with the most devilish look on his face as he pulled a fake rat across the stage in an attempt to make all of us laugh.
What joy he brought to us all – both on stage and off.
Enzo will forever be in my heart and memory, a sweet association of those wonderful Rossini days! He was so talented, sweet and fun! I will never forget him.
Caro Enzo, che ti piaccia o no sei stato parte della mia vita: da giovane eri per me qualcuno da raggiungere, da grande sei stato un collega generoso e sincero. E’ stato per me un privilegio, quando la vita me ne ha data l’occasione, camminare fianco a fianco sullo stesso palcoscenico facendo insieme musica e teatro.
Se hai la pazienza di aspettarmi, quando arriverò avrò un sacco di cose da raccontarti e continueremo a farci due risate. Se la incontrassi, salutami Lucia.
Ti abbraccio forte, buon viaggio.
Like it or not, you’re part of my life: from when I was young you were something to aim for, and when I was older you were a generous and honest colleague. It’s been a great privilege, when life has given me the possibility, to walk side by side with you on stage, and making music and theatre together.
If you’ve got the patience to wait for me, when I arrive I’ll have a load of things to tell you and we can continue to have a laugh together. If you happen to come across her, say hello to Lucia.
A big hug and bon voyage.
Ho cantato con Enzo due volte, un Barbiere a Messina ed un Viaggio a Reims a Genova. Persona squisita e collega fantastico, sempre allegro, generoso, prodigo di consigli e mai prevaricante in scena, nonostante il notorio carisma e la fantastica presenza scenica.
Sono molto dispiaciuto per la sua dipartita.
I sang twice with Enzo: a Barbiere in Messina and a Viaggio a Reims in Genoa. An exquisite person and a wonderful colleague, always lively, generous, full of advice and never upstaging even though his charisma and wonderful stage presence was legendary.
I am very sad at his passing.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.