As someone who has spent much of my life seeking out and befriending eccentric people, I’m always delighted to meet a new one. In One Life to Live filmmaker Nendie Pinto-Duschinsky‘s short film on Ernesto Tomasini, I was introduced to the fascinating opera singer who has worked with Coil, Antony and the Johnsons and the great mime artist Lindsay Kemp:
At 15, Ernesto Tomasini won a scholarship to draw for Disney and worked on The Fox and The Hound. Al Pacino took a break from filming The Godfather Part III to see Ernesto perform when he was just 19. Described by Spanish radio as “Maria Callas possessed by Satan,” the “man with the voice of a woman” is currently singing with Shackleton and has previously performed with Antony and the Johnsons, Lindsay Kemp, Coil, Marc Almond, Ron Athey, Bruce LaBruce, and for Oscar-winning film director Alfonso Cuarón in his Children of Men, all whilst starring in operas and musicals the world over. At the end of 2016, he was made an Italian “Sir” and received the keys to his home town of Palermo in Sicily.
One Life to Live gives rare access to Tomasini’s world, where he collaborates with concert pianists and composers Konstantin Lapshin and Othon Mataragas, has daily skype calls with legendary US producer Man Parrish and attends orgies—which he hates—purely as a matter of principle. “It’s keeping balance in the moral compass. The world needs sexual deviance!” agrees Ernesto’s friend Lupe.
The film begins with Ernesto’s masterclass at RADA but becomes “something else.” Films are organisms that spawn an atmosphere of their own.
In December director Nendie Pinto-Duschinsky‘s latest film On the Ground at Grenfell was screened in Parliament to over 100 MPs, and her work has been featured on the Channel 4 News, ITV News, DAZED, The Fader, The Independent, and The Guardian. Her new documentary was called “‘an astonishing film” by Naomi Wolf and won “Best Film” in the Portobello Film Festival. Nendie has previously worked with Marc Almond and Holly Johnson and her feature film Lindsay Kemp’s Last Dance shot in Japan, has premiered in Australia, Chile and Colombia alongside work by David Lynch and Wim Wenders.