Updating opera settings is, of course, expected; I’d wager in most houses more often than not it’s now the norm. Still, few in my experience have the specificity and local immediacy of Don Pasquale at the Academy of Vocal Arts.
Soprano Lydia Grindatto confirmed the fine impression she had made at Giargiari vocal competition with a charismatic, thoroughly inhabited performance that showed careful preparation in every aspect.
This is likely the best Giargiari Bel Canto competition year in my experience, evidenced in several important ways.
There was something very Russian—indeed, Chekhovian—about the mix of joy and tears, as the Academy of Vocal Arts performed Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin
April is the cruelest month, the song tells us—but this year, it was a week later. Ghenady Meirson, Philadelphia’s master of Russian Opera and coach extraordinaire, died on May 8.
I’ll just note that Cameron and I listened separately; we didn’t compare notes; and on our own, came up with the same list of top three singers… none of whom were among the actual winners.
It was hard for me not to get choked up, watching two of AVA’s most promising young graduates having to make this opportunity for themselves, and doing it with such palpable good humor.
AVA met the challenge with a delightful, if necessarily truncated, video recital that allowed each singer to participate in the now-familiar Zoom platform.
Donizetti’s La Favorite remains a relative rarity in the repertoire, especially in the original French version.
Since 1934, Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts has been preparing emerging artists for operatic careers.
When soprano Yihan Duan started to sing her aria, you could feel an almost electric charge that something special was happening.
Così fan tutte, Mozart’s final Italian comedy with Lorenzo Da Ponte, is this season’s heaviest lift for Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA).
Academy of Vocal Arts’ Rusalka—surprisingly, only their second venture in many years into the Slavic repertoire—left a divided impression.
Russian repertoire figures very centrally in AVA’s mission.
In the Academy of Vocal Arts’s (AVA) clever pairing of two Puccini works, there was every reason to expect the fix was in.
Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts, a top-tier advanced training program for singers launching professional careers, always sends off their artists in style.