Now, Opera Chic doesn't have a Uncle Solly, but if she did, he'd totally look like maestro Yuri Temirkanov.
The serene smile of the kind Russian conductor, that modest giant among most of his more PR-friendly colleagues, is totally the kind of smile you expect your gentle Uncle Solly to have. Temirkanov is about to hypnotize Roman audiences with Mahler's Second Symphony -- just last December, he completely changed Opera Chic's view of Tchaikovsky's Pathetique, one of those unforgettable evenings that change your outlook on a work, because they let you discover things you never knew were there (regretfully OC never posted a full review because we were in the midst of the Alagna madness).
Maestro Temirkanov -- who conducts without a baton because, he jokes, or maybe he isn't?, an old Russian gentleman used to make them for him and now the gentleman has passed away -- sometimes tells his orchestra that, when in doubt during a performance, they should just look at his eyes and they'll know what he means.
And it's a little quote that just floors us -- we sometimes think that, whenever people mention the future of the Scala Music Directorship, we should just relinquish all power to maestro Temirkanov, and just elect him with full powers of life and death.
And then just relax and enjoy the magic of Uncle Solly's conducting.