Steve Jobs, Placido Domingo and technology

Like the rest of the world I was very sad to hear of the passing of Steve Jobs yesterday. Obviously the man was incredibly creative and clever, but he was also a visionary, he saw what other people couldn’t. It reminds me of the comment by Gandhi (who I’m pretty sure was not talking about technology) when he said “be the change you want to see in the world.” Jobs knew where he wanted the technological world to go, so he took it there. Two of the best things I saw yesterday were a fresh apple (the fruit) with a simple ‘bye’ carved into it and Neil Diamond tweeted ‘#isad’. Not sure that was his original thought as it is now trending, but I still thought it was cool. Couldn’t help “isad2” back.

I am not a gadget person myself. I have a Dell PC which I like, a Nokia phone which I got in 2006, two ipods and a digital camera. My phone doesn’t have a camera or send email or open doors etc. it sends texts and takes calls. I find that is still all I need it to do. But I will catch up, eventually, I usually do. I can create my own e-book covers and I can upload to Amazon and Smashwords and handle all the ‘dashboards’ at my e-book sites. I’m quite proud of that. And I know you will be dying to know, e-book downloads for ‘Our Father’s War’ at Smashwords is now…..100. Good Lord, a century!!! Today would have been his 94th birthday, so an excellent way to celebrate.

Well, the love of my life is in New Zealand. Well he probably leaves today. But he has been here for the last few days and he gave a concert in Christchurch last night. When I first heard that Placido Domingo was coming back, 20 years after the last concert in Auckland, I was determined to go. But it was Christchurch and the tickets were really expensive…and the deal breaker, he brought Warbling Barbie with him (Katherine Jenkins) and he doesn’t sing as many songs in concert as he used to, you get far more of the soprano.  So instead, I put on my DvD of ‘Placido Domingo: My Favourite Roles’ and we spent a couple of hours last night watching him sing in Carmen, Tosca, Otello, Ernani, Hofmann etc. and talk to camera about the roles. It was exquisite and the time flew past, as it always does.

I remember Mum taking me to the Rossi film of Carmen, under protest, and he was the Don Jose. I had grown up listening to her LPs of di Steffano and Tebaldi and I knew it was good music, but two hours in the cinema! Good grief! It was an 11am session. In those days the movies were at 11, 3, 5 and 8pm. And I watched the 11am session without moving a muscle and I came back for the one at 3 and the one at 5. I would have come back for the 8pm but she wouldn’t let me. I have that movie on DvD and I have seen it so many times I have lost count. And La Traviata and Otello. The man is a musician, a complete musical genius and he still rocks my world. His voice is the soundtrack to my life. If I had to pick one person in the world who I’m pleased I lived at the same time as them, it would be Domingo without hesitation. If I have my way I will hear his voice as I die. The character, Rafael Gomez, in my novel ‘The Secret Keeper,’ is my own tribute to the Maestro. 

So I guess you could say I love the man, I love the man’s music to be more specific. And he is still the handsomest 70-year-old in the world. I remember vividly the first time I met him, his eyes look straight into your heart and he never looks away, he takes both your hands in his and you have his full attention. I have met him many times since, I took a tour group to the Three Tenors in LA in 1994 and around the USA in 1995 and we saw him in Parsifal at the Met and Otello in LA. I have seen him in concert in Hamburg, in Pag in Verona, Otello in Vienna etc. His face lights up when he sees someone he knows and he gives you a kiss on each cheek and you wonder how on earth your knees keep supporting your weight.

So thank you for coming to Christchurch, Maestro, and for raising over $300,000 for that dear city. I am sure all who were there had a fantastic time, as I have always had at your concerts. Some day, somewhere, somehow, I will hear you sing again, live. Then I can die happy.

And the women swooned...

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