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Subject: Opera Index Recital: A Review by Nino Pantano
From: George Voorhis <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:George Voorhis <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 16 Nov 2010 15:22:41 -0500
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Dear List, 

Nino Pantano has sent me his article on this year's Opera Index Membership 
Recital which I'm happy to pass along.   As you know, Opera Index provides 
valuable scholarships and awards to many fine young singers.   For more 
information the wonderful work done by Opera Index, Inc.  here's the link:  
http://www.operaindexinc.org/

Please contact Nino Pantano directly with any comments or questions about 
this piece at [log in to unmask]   Enjoy, George V.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Opera Index Has Annual Membership Recital
 A review by Nino Pantano

Opera Index had its Annual Membership Buffet Supper and Recital on the 
evening of Wednesday, November 11th which was held at the Community 
Church of NY in Murray Hill, where we heard eight winners of the 2010 
Encouragement Awards. As always, we were greeted at the entrance by the 
ever dapper Executive Director Bob Crosby. The felicitous and charming 
President of Opera Index, Murray Rosenthal, opened the proceedings and the 
concert began.

Will Liverman, sang a very spirited and delightful “Largo al factotum” from 
Rossini’s Barber of Seville, his agile flexible baritone negotiated the Rossinian 
roller coaster terrain with virtuosity and élan. 

Baritone Joseph Flaxman beguiled the audience with a sensual “Torreador song” 
sung with brio and panache that perfectly suited his role as Carmen’s lover. 
Flaxman’s vibrant baritone is at once powerful and subtle with a lovely 
diminuendo on the vowel “Ah” just before the refrain. All that plus personal 
charm and matinee idol good looks makes for a very bright future indeed.

Michelle Trovato has a lovely soaring lyric soprano which enchanted us in “Chi il 
bel sogno” from Puccini’s touching operetta La Rondine. Ms. Trovato’s 
technique is secure and her bright and sparkling quality is very pleasing to the 
ear.

Joo Won Kang’s delicious, dark and robust baritone captured our collective 
hearts with his touching singing of “Zaza piccolo zingara” from Leoncavallo’s 
Zaza.

Ricardo Rivera used his fine lyric baritone in a plangent, spirited and caressing 
“Mi Aldea” from the Zarzuela Los Gavilanes by J. Guerrero. Rivera’s sudden 
ascent to a B flat near the finale was thrilling.

Samuel Levine’s “Salut! demeure, chaste et pure” from Gounod’s Faust, 
indicated a promising tenor with vocal refinement and strong top, right up to a 
beautifully framed high “C.”
  
Robert Balonek’s warm and caressing baritone captivated us with a heartfelt 
“Ya vas lyu blyu” from Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame. Balonek truly captured the 
Russian spirit in this touching aria.

Australian tenor Alexander Lewis sang a thrilling “Dein ist mein ganzes herz” 
from Das Land des Lachelns by Lehar. His vibrant ringing tenor evoked memories 
of the legendary Fritz Wunderlich.

The invaluable and virtuostic piano accompaniment of coach Michael Fennelly 
was outstanding.

The presentation of Encouragement Awards of $1,000 to each of the singers 
was in the capable hands of Opera Index Vice President Janet Stoven. She 
amusingly looked at the ratio of seven male singers and only one female, and 
said “it’s like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” 

It was nice to “meet and greet” the effervescent Stephen De Maio from the 
Gerda Lissner Foundation, Stephen Phebus on the Board of Directors of Opera 
Index and his charming wife Linda Howe, international soprano and Met opera 
guild lecturer Jane Marsh, famed soprano Elaine Malbin, composer Philip 
Hagemann and Bill Ronayne from the Mario Lanza Society. Because of Opera 
Index and its scholarships to aspiring singers, the future is looking bright! Bravo 
to all! For info: email: [log in to unmask]

 

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