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.