BBC Music Magazine
Also in June 1989
4th & 19th: In Poland’s first free elections since 1928, Lech Wa¯˛esa’s Solidarity scores an overwhelming victory. Not all the seats in the Sejm (lower house) are up for grabs, as the ruling communist Polish United Workers Party still retains a number by default, but Solidarity wins every one available to it and also takes 99 out of 100 seats in the senate. 5th: After protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square have been crushed by the Chinese military, a lone protestor is filmed standing in the path of a column of tanks on Chang’an Avenue. Though the footage rapidly spreads worldwide, the identity of ‘Tank Man’ remains unknown. The exact number of those killed in Tiananmen Square is never established, but is believed to be in the hundreds.
7th: Verdi’s Il trovatore opens at the Royal Opera House. Conducted by the ROH music director Bernard Haitink, the starry cast includes bass-baritone Willard White as Ferrando, soprano Rosalind Plowright (see BBC Music Magazine Interview, p40) as Leonora and tenor Plácido Domingo as Manrico. Luciano Pavarotti, Domingo’s future Three Tenors colleague, has sung the same role at The New York Met earlier in the year. 12th: Two of the greatest boxers of all time, Tommy ‘The Hitman’ Hearns and Sugar Ray Leonard, fight for the WBC and WBO supermiddleweight titles, eight years since their last meeting. Though Leonard is knocked down early on, the 12-round fight at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, goes the distance and is eventually declared a draw by the judges. 21st: French composer Henri Sauguet dies in Paris aged 88. The only pupil of Joseph Canteloube, from whom he inherited a love of French folk music, Sauguet went on to write a large number of works that includes over 20 ballets, eight operas and four symphonies. His most famous ballet, 1945’s Les forains, continues to enjoy regular performances.