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 »
Singers 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 »
Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is first among equals in a spectacular cast when she sings the title role of Ariodante in this season’s installment of Carnegie Hall’s critically acclaimed cycle of Handel’s operas in concert. A brilliantly melodic work, the opera features outstanding arias for each of the principal singers, including Ariodante’s melancholy “Scherza infida” and show-stopping “Doppo note.” Harry Bicket and The English Concert bring authentic Handelian brilliance to this marvelous opera. (Photo: Simon Pauly) Get tickets. Read more »
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 »
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.
I was greatly anticipating Karita Mattila’s recital on Friday in Toronto’s Koerner Hall.
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.
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.