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Magic Michael

Our Own JJ weighs in at some length about OONY’s performance of I Lombardi over at musicalamerica.com. Yes, it’s by subscription, but you really should, you know? However, for those of you who are a little out-of-pocket (and, believe me, La Cieca knows the feeling) there’s a snippet after the jump.

[Michael] Fabiano has been heard in New York before–as a Grand Prize winner in the Met National Council Auditions (documented in the 2007 film The Audition), in a couple of supporting roles at the ???Met, and in a concert or two. The young artist (he’s only 28) has until now always sounded “promising,” but Monday night he fulfilled that promise. After just a phrase or two, you could already feel the audience take notice, as if to say, “what have we here?” Within less than 10 minutes, after he caressed the lyrical aria “La mia letizia infondere” with warm, throbbing, Italianate tone, the place suddenly went mad, in an ovation the likes of which you rarely hear at the Met any more.

Next came a slow cabaletta in rippling Bellini style, which the tenor sang delicately but still with a full, virile tone. A standout moment was his launching of the reprise of the melody in a melting mezza voce, an elegantly refined effect.

True, Fabiano lofts his way into high notes with a slight portamento that, if exaggerated, could degenerate into a scoop. And I heard a sob or two garnishing the legato line. But these are valid stylistic choices from an artist so assured and technically firm of voice. He’s headed for an important career, of which this Lombardi is only a very tasty hors d’oeuvre.

71 comments

  • bassoprofundo says:

    This is rather brilliant:

    • kashania says:

      Again, the resemblance to Carreras is striking.

      • bassoprofundo says:

        it is, isn’t it? oddly enough, they even kind of have similar facial features. or maybe I’m just seeing things.

        • kashania says:

          Yeah, I can see some resemblance. Fortunately, Fabiano’s face does NOT resemble Carreras when singing a high note. Fabiano’s face is completely relaxed when singing the final high note of that aria whereas Carreras’s face would be in convulsions (those eyebrows!!).

      • Cocky Kurwenal says:

        I think Carreras has one of the most astonishingly innately beautiful voices ever, coupled with an incredible ability to convey emotion through the voice, whereas Fabiano is simply an excellent singer with a very good voice. He strikes me as slightly mechanical in this Ingemisco.

        • leftcoastlady says:

          Yes, mechanical, almost distracted; singing as if he has a plane to catch. Nice sound, though.

  • bassoprofundo says:

    totally unrelated yet mindblowing (armerjacquino will probably say Calleja is even better, bless):

    • la vociaccia says:

      Totally unrelated, but here you go basso:

      • bassoprofundo says:

        didn’t I say she was wonderful?

        • la vociaccia says:

          Just gorgeous. I could spend all day thinking of superlatives. But what sticks out the most is how she can scale her voice back and execute those fioraturas with such beautiful agility. I know I’m a Monastyrska fanboy right now, but Tamara Wilson’s Nile scene is more complete IMHO

          • kashania says:

            I think she’s heading towards being the next big Verdi soprano. She’s barely 30 I think but the voice is already quite mature and I know she has a lot of Trov Leonoras on her schedule.

          • MontyNostry says:

            She’s good, but, to my ear, it’s another of those big, well-schooled Anglo-Saxon voices without any special tonal personality or allure, rather like Meade’s.

      • kashania says:

        It won’t surprise Basso to hear that Tamara Wilson was a *fabulous* Rosalind in Toronto back in the fall. ;)

        • bassoprofundo says:

          haha kashania! brilliant!

          in any event, I’ve never heard her in Verdi. But I heard her in Idomeneo last summer as Elettra. When she started “Idol mio” a hush came over the theater, and she was glorious. I would pay top dollar to hear her sing Vitellia.

          • kashania says:

            Her first two assignments in Toronto were Amelia (Simon B) and Elettra. She was very good vocally in both but didn’t thrill in the same way she did with her Rosalind. I think it’s a matter of maturing. She was still in her 20s when she sang those roles and was much more finished in her recent assignment (I think she’s just 30 now). I expect that she will continue to grow as an artist.

          • Hippolyte says:

            Tamara Wilson sang Malwina in Marschner’s Der Vampyr at Carnegie Hall a few weeks ago; it was the first I’d heard her and she was thrilling. I’ve since heard a recording of the Houston Don Carlos and it confirmed my impression that it’s more of a Germanic voice than a Verdian one, to my ears at least. She sings Ada in a recent recording of Wagner’s Die Feen from Frankfurt which I’d be curious to hear and I believe there’s a Kaiserin in her future at some point.

      • Cocky Kurwenal says:

        Potentially excellent, and clearly a great voice, but so hemmed in, covered and manufactured apart from the few times she just about dares to open up on the top (excluding the ascent to the c, which was a weirdly disconnected almost falsetto). If she’d let go she’d be really wonderful, but probably an in your face scary Dmitrova style sound as opposed to the flexible spinto she seems to wish she was. That’s what I reckon, anyway!

    • kashania says:

      I heard Martinucci live as Calaf in Rome in 1999. The voice was attractive, had tremendous squillo, and was thrilling to hear live. Though he had a significant career (especially in Europe), it’s a shame that he never achieved fame as one of the world’s leading tenors, which he deserved IMO.

  • Signor Bruschino says:

    Just re-watched The Audition, and Fabiano really stands out, not just in vocal terms, but having that quality of being ‘interesting’… TV friendly, etc… curious to see how his persona develops over the upcoming seasons