Caffe Taci has a reputation for being a venue where opera singers can perform in a relaxed, familial environment. Here they can sharpen their skills or simply let loose as customers enjoy food and drinks from Papillon Bistro & Bar just downstairs. On Oct. 14, patrons filled the restaurant to see renowned bass René Pape, who had promised the announcement of a very special project.
As Pape took his place beside the piano, he was greeted with great applause. “No introduction needed,” the basso laughed as he prepared his remarks. “As you know,” Pape rumbled, “I am a big collector of rubber ducks. And now I have one of my very own.” Pulling back the cloth on the table, he unveiled a small box containing his miniature likeness, decked out in a tuxedo and complete with duckbill and tail.
“This is my mini-me. Wherever I go you will see him too.” Drawing laughs and applause, Pape posed with his diminutive friend for some pictures before going on to sing a few numbers. Among the requests were “Ecco il Mondo” from Boito’s “Mefistofeles,” and “Nessun Dorma” from Puccini’s “Turandot.”
“Do I look like a tenor?” Pape countered with a smile.
From Pape’s website: “This PapeDuck reflects René Pape’s signature style and sense of humor. He has been a long-time collector of rubber ducks, and hopes this PapeDuck will bring joy to collectors and opera fans around the world!”
This comedic collectible is limited edition, and is likely to sell out as testament to Pape’s popularity. No longer confined to theatres and opera houses, Pape is now available to appear in a bath near you.