Last night I had the privilege of seeing the magnificent Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez in concert at the Salle Pleyel in Paris.
His third and final encore, Pour mon ame, from Donizetti's La Fille du Regiment, which has a series of high Cs that propelled Pavarotti to fame, was so wonderful I could hardly fight back the tears. The auditorium was on its feet and everybody finally, grudgingly, left feeling uplifted.
What has this self-indulgent rambling got to do with chemicals, I hear you say.
Well, on the way home I began to ponder about different aspects of the show. For example, what does he do during the interval when we are all people-watching and sipping our glasses of La Doucette Pouilly Fume? If he lies down, and I am sure this is what he will do, will he take off his superbly cut dress suit, to avoid creasing, or will it contain just a tiny amount of Lycra, to withstand crumpling? No, it must be pure Italian fine wool, and a number of lackeys will be there to press it before he comes back on stage.
And what about those heavenly patent leather shoes, so obviously hand-made, even from a distance? How does he keep them so shiny and elegant? Well I can't say how Juan Diego keeps his shoes looking so good, but I did read that a naphtha-based cleaner can help keep patent leather shoes in tip-top condition. And his hair- what chemicals would he... no stop... this is going too far. I have been doing this job for too long.