Volume 7 / Chapter 249
Argento was in disbelief when he saw Jun Hyuk laughing in jest.
“You’re… cruel. Do you really want to show my damaged image to my
“Of course not. Damaged? I think of it as the opposite. The
cracking is the sound that I and the opera needs. If you still had the sweet
voice from the past, I wouldn’t have come all the way here. You’ll be able to
express the exact sound that I want.”
“What sound are you talking about?”
“I’m not making an opera where beautiful arias flow out. There are
countless works like that. I’m going to make an opera where the characters,
singing, and voice match up perfectly.”
Argento felt passion in Jun Hyuk’s expression.
“A sweet voice for an aged big boss? Isn’t that funny? This
protagonist isn’t a handsome prince or a king ruling a single country. He is an
old man who has been shot before and always has death beside him. A person like
that with a beautiful voice?”
Argento could not drink his wine and got lost in Jun Hyuk’s
“A young Corleone who sings in a cool manner will fill the 1st
act. The sound that is necessary in the 2nd act where we can feel the flow of
time is you, Mr. Argento.”
Argento started as the tenor in the Alfredo role of Verdi’s ‘La
Traviata’. The powerful, beautiful, and grand voice that had touched the
audience at the time is changing into the cracking voice of an old man in his
It is as though he is revealing to everyone that his life is in
“You would be facing death in your last work. Is there a better
exit than this? Are you going to disappear after performing lightly at charity
concerts like you’re doing now?”
Argento had gladly accepted meeting with Jun Hyuk because he
wanted to see the genius that the world was abuzz about, but also to give a
However, could it have been a desire hidden deep within him to
find a reason to stand on the stage with this opera?
Jun Hyuk did not pay mind to Argento’s complicated thoughts and
bolted up from the sofa, holding a stack of scores out to him.
“It is the aria that Vito Corleone needs to sing. If you look at
it, you’ll want to stand on the stage. I’ll be waiting at the hotel. Just give
me a call.”
Jun Hyuk put the score on top of the table and left the living
room, leaving his last words,
“Oh right, Mr. Argento. I can keep a secret. I won’t tell anyone
that you got a procedure done.”
Argento kept looking at the score even after Jun Hyuk left. After
staring blankly for a while, he picked up the score instead of the wine glass.
‘Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer’
‘An offer you can’t refuse’
The song titles are Vito Corleone’s most famous lines. Argento
started to read through the sheets slowly.
President Stern was waiting anxiously for Jun Hyuk
at the hotel. He felt better when he saw Jun Hyuk come in smiling.
“How did it go? Did he accept?”
“No, not yet. But he will. I left the aria score with him. If he
sees that and rejects it, he’s done as a singer. We’ll have to look for someone
He gains more confidence over time. He means that he gave Argento
music that he cannot reject, not an offer that he cannot reject.
“How long are you going to wait?”
“Just until check out tomorrow.”
“Who’s next if he turns us down?”
Jun Hyuk said a few names and President Stern made the order to
check on their schedules.
“Alright, then shall we enjoy this sweltering heat until tomorrow?
Let’s look out at the Mediterranean and watch beautiful women on the beach.”
President Stern dragged Jun Hyuk to the beach where he laid under
a parasol and drank a refreshing drink.
But unlike Stern who was happy, Jun Hyuk could not get rid of his
“What? Because Argento might turn you down?”
“No. Because of the other roles…..”
Jun Hyuk did not seem to think that Argento might refuse.
President Stern saw this and spoke nonchalantly. He knows what Jun Hyuk’s heavy
“Jun. Don’t think more about it and ask for help.”
“Excuse me? Who?”
“Who else? Laura.”
“Oh, Laura Goldberg?”
“Yeah. It’s a supporting role, but it leaves an impact, doesn’t
it? It’ll become the top aria of this opera? With something like that, Laura
will do you this favor.”
He hesitated several times, but he could not get himself to contact
her. She is already rising rapidly as a star. Her name has gotten too big for
her to take on a supporting role.
“She didn’t even apply for the audition. I’m sure that’s how busy
“No. She could have not participated because there isn’t an appropriate
role and she could have thought that you would contact her first if you needed
her. She could even be disappointed that you didn’t call her.”
President Stern took his cellphone out and gave his employee
“I’ll ask her to contact you, so wait. If she calls today, it
means she’s been waiting for your call.”
President Stern was positive that Laura would call, and started
looking at women in bikinis again.
The phone in the hotel room started ringing as it
“Jun? Wow. I was really surprised that you called me first.”
“How are you?”
She called that day. Had she really been waiting for him to
“Oh, I’m in the middle of an opera in London. Once the London show
is over, I have a solo concert in Frankfurt.”
Since releasing an album with Jun Hyuk, Laura is considered the
most powerful rookie soprano and is ranked at the top of casting.
When he heard how busy she is, he could not get himself to bring
up his opera. How could he ask her to take on a supporting role when she is
someone who needs to be doing solo concerts?
While Jun Hyuk hesitated, Laura became frustrated and spoke up
“What is it? Didn’t you leave a message to call you because you
have something to say to me? I’m sure you didn’t call to ask how I’m doing.”
Laura knows that Jun Hyuk does not have the personality to call
just to ask how she is. She thanked him many times because he basically brought
her success, but he had only ever responded gruffly.
“It’s just hard to say because it’s a bit of an unreasonable
request. Your schedule is so full…..”
“It’s okay. Tell me. Didn’t you call because of the opera?”
He felt much lighter because of what Laura said.
“Do you want to audition at all? No… There’s no reason to
“I want to, but how could I reach out first? All sopranos around
the world are going out. I assumed there wasn’t a right role for me
because you weren’t calling me.”
“Honestly, it’s almost all filled up. There’s one role, but it’s a
“Supporting role? Is it the chorus…..”
“Oh, no. Would I have called you to join the chorus?”
Jun Hyuk rushed to explain the role to her. He told her how
important it is although it is a supporting role.
“Let me know once the show schedule comes out. And send me the
score right now.”
She blurted out her response without even the slightest hesitation.
“What? You’re accepting?”
“Of course. Did you think I would turn it down because it’s a
small role? Who was it who helped me get here? I always repay my debts. And I’m
telling you in advance that it’ll be the same going forward. Tell me any time,
no matter how small the supporting role is. If you call, I’ll go.”
Jun Hyuk ended the call and felt he had let go one of his big
‘She’s more loyal than she seems.’
“How much time is there for me to practice on my
“How much time is there left until rehearsals?”
“There is about 2 months.”
When Jun Hyuk picked up the ringing phone early in the morning,
Argento’s questions poured through.
“Fine. Then will you be able to direct for me for 2 months? At my
Jun Hyuk bolted up from his bed and adjusted the phone.
“Of course. That’s actually what I wanted to ask of you.”
“What? Well, it seems like you’re really out to get me. Ha ha.”
Jun Hyuk went to check on his schedule with President Stern.
“2 months is too much. You can’t just cling to Argento. Starting
in a month, you need to check on everything including from the singers, stage
sets, to the lights. You’ll be so busy you won’t even have time to lift your
head. End it in a month.”
“I see. Then I’ll spend that time at the least at Argento’s house.”
President Stern went through his entire schedule and stated firmly
that he cannot stay with Argento for more than 1 month.
“We’re almost done working on the songs, so it’ll be enough time
for the cast to practice on their own.”
Jun Hyuk packed a bag that day and went into Argent’s mansion.
After spending just 1 day with Jun Hyuk, Argento began exercising
again. He realized right away that this young composer would push his limits to
get what he wants. And those limits were only getting higher.
After 1 month, the major cast and officials for
the Godfather opera gathered in Milan, and the stage in La Scala Teatro was
full of advanced equipment.
La Scala Teatro was remodeled under Toscanini’s direction in March
of 1946 and there is an orchestra that is well-tuned to Toscanini.
They had the most rigorous conductor they met since Toscanini, and
was not able to spend a single day comfortably.
How long has it been since there has been a premiere at La Scala?
Everyone memorized and practiced the scores that they were seeing for the first
time, but Jun Hyuk, the young composer and conductor, did not seem to know
They thought the opera would have the feeling of the movie because
they heard that the movie’s main theme song would be used, but the movie theme
song was just an intermezzo.
The opera Godfather is a true Italian opera that expresses the
tragic beauty of death.