Cher Public


There was a moment during Natalie Dessay’s performance of Schubert’s “Gretchen am Spinnrade” when the singer summoned the ghost of her former self. It was on the word Kuß!: her voice opened majestically, blooming with a youthful vibrancy. It brought back memories of her great successes on the operatic stage—Ophelia, Lucia, Zerbinetta—the performances that made her an international star.  Read more »

Head space

The best part of Paul Appleby’s recital for the Philadelphia Chamber Society came in his last two groups—five songs by Charles Ives followed immediately by three Ned Rorem songs to texts by Paul Goodman. Deftly accompanied by Ken Noda, Appleby showed a virtually perfectly controlled head voice, well balanced with a wide dynamic range, including a sweetly spun pianissimo that never became falsetto.  Read more »

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.

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Who’s that girl?

Diana Damrau is a great flirt.

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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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From the depths

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

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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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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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