Andrea added: “It was a broad singing, free, spontaneous, sweet at times roaring at others, but always authoritative and dominating.
“Chénier, the poet [the main character] was addressing the theme of love in a general sense. Franco Corelli in that record seemed to deal with the subject of love for his art: the art of singing, that art capable of involving, of touching.
“I was just a child, but listening to that certainly marked my destiny.”
It made such a lifelong impact that Andrea recently said it would be his ‘desert island disk’ if he were only allowed to take one recording.
Corelli became the boy and then the man’s idol. And, eventually, his teacher.
Watch Franco Corelli sing l’improviso from Andrea Chenier below. Prepare to have your socks blown off.