The great Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto writes about his experience with the role of Don Quichotte ahead of his performances in Sydney and Melbourne for Opera Australia. 

I sung the role of Don Quichotte for the first time in 2002. It was always something that I dreamt about because it’s not only a beautiful vocally written role, it’s also a sensational character. And the reason I feel so close to it is because Don Quichotte is exactly what every man should be for at least three or four hours in his life. Don Quichotte is pure love. He loves whatever surrounds him, from the light of the sun, the nature, the animals, the persons – he loves life in the most poetic way, and it’s so fascinating to be able to live for these few hours inside this character.

Ferruccio Furlanetto as Don Quichotte. Photo courtesy of Opera Australia, San Dieo Opera and Ken Howard

For instance, the death of Don Quichotte, it’s something that 100 percent, when I’m in it, I’m doing it first of all for my own pleasure. That’s something that happens in very few other roles – I...