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Episode 2 of 5

When a Venezuelan baritone found himself blacklisted in his own country, he was forced to choose between giving up singing or moving to Italy.

Five portraits of people who relocated to other countries, influenced by music.

Pedro Carrillo is from Venezuela. He fell in love with Italian opera when he was five years old and heard a recording of Verdi's Rigoletto playing in his father's study.

When he grew up, Pedro fulfilled his childhood ambition and began singing regularly in the main theatre of Caracas. However, not long into his career, the political regime in Venezuela encroached on the nation's cultural life and Pedro, who had not hidden his anti-government views, found himself blacklisted. For three years - "three terrible years" - he was unable to work as a singer. He grew depressed. His voice suffered. He thought about giving up.

Eventually, despite many misgivings and his love for his homeland, he decided to emigrate. He moved, with his wife Victoria, to Milan - the city of La Scala and of Verdi. There, in the birthplace of opera, he had to start again and rebuild his career from zero.

Producer: Rachel Hopkin
A Falling Tree Production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

15 minutes

Last on

Tue 17 Jan 2012 09:30


  • Tue 18 Oct 2011 15:45
  • Tue 17 Jan 2012 09:30