Cher Public

Light from shadow

CamarenaSingers who loom large in the theater have an interesting challenge in translating that intensity to the recital hall. Sometimes we get only fleeting glimpses of that bigger personality amidst tasteful lieder selections; others just import the volume and dramatics wholesale from a bigger space, resulting in performances that can be impressive but overbearing.  Read more »

Blackberry winner

Washingtonians enjoyed a happy reunion this past Sunday with David Daniels, a lucky substitution for the originally scheduled Alexander Tsymbalyuk on the Vocal Arts DC calendar. Daniels isn’t exactly a regular on DC stages—he last graced the opera house in 2008 opposite Placido Domingo in Handel’s Tamerlano (a rare Baroque foray for WNO)—but contributing to Ruth Bader Ginsburg lore will get you everywhere with this crowd.   Read more »

Who’s that girl?

Diana Damrau is a great flirt. Not that I condemn her for that. She toyed with my heartstrings in Traviata and Lucia and Sonnambula and Manon, but she never pretended we were going steady. In her first Carnegie Hall recital on Sunday, she brought her flirting and her acting skills, her superb diction (in both German and French) and her cool, seamless voice, to a good old-fashioned lieder program, the kind one hears less and less often.  Read more »

Hibla

Beyond the blue horizon

Besides the heavens and a sweater in The Devil Wears Prada, it is the hue of Hibla Gerzmava’s soprano, in contrast to the red or rose or red-orange voices of most sopranos.

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Mattila

From the depths

I was greatly anticipating Karita Mattila’s recital on Friday in Toronto’s Koerner Hall.

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Mark Padmore

Unadorned

There was wonder and magic last night in Philly when The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society presented British tenor Mark Padmore and American pianist Jonathan Biss in a recital devoted to the songs of Schumann, Tippett, and Fauré.

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Ullrich

Nightingale

Readers of this site are typically up to speed on emerging vocal talents, so clearly there is no need for me to write a review of Chilean-German soprano Carolina Ullrich’s riveting recital at the Paris Opera?

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The Memory of Singing

Austrian mezzo Angelika Kirchschlager left an incomplete impression as a Lieder singer Sunday night, in a quirky recital program of Brahms, Wolf, Mahler and Reynaldo Hahn, with pianist Warren Jones. Suffering from a cough and swallowing some words, Ms. Kirchschlager succeeded more in gesture than details. Breezing through Brahms’ songs “Meine liebe ist grün,” “Über die Heide,” and “Salome,” faux-naïve songs with thick, Schumannesque accompaniments, Kirchschlager often dropped consonants and clipped the ends of phrases.  

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