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Subject: Fabulous FLICKA flits into DC for recital with Richard STILWELL
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Date:Sun, 11 Dec 2005 18:39:29 EST
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Saturday night was yet another duo recital in  the VOCAL ARTS SOCIETY series 
at the Kennedy Center, this time rather than  new-found artists, we had two 
proven recitalists and singers renowned throughout  the opera world: 
mezzo-soprano FREDERICA vonSTADE(FvS) and baritone, RICHARD  STILWELL(RS) in a varied and 
exciting program: 
Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)   RS
L'Horizon Chimérique    
La mer  est infinie
Je me suis embarqué
Diane,  Séléné
Vaisseaux, nous vous aurons  aimés        
Pauline Viardot (1821-1910)  FvS
Bonjour, mon cœur       
Die  Sterne
Berceuse
Indécision 
Aaron Copland (1900-1990)
Old  American Songs, selected 
At the River        RS
Little Horses      FvS
Zion's  Walls       RS
Simple  Gifts      FvS
I bought me a cat!  FvS &  RS

INTERMISSION

Claudio Monteverdi  (1567-1643) FvS & RS
Final Duet from Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in  Patria  

Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)
Four selected  songs:     
Liebst du um Schönheit    FvS
Der Tambourg'sell           RS
Rheinlegendchen            FvS
Lob des hohen Verstandes FvS & RS 
Charles Ives (1874-1954) RS
The  Greatest Man      
Vivian  LeWine (1963-) FvS    
Zeal  
Charles Ives RS
Autumn  
Lee Hoiby (1926-) FvS
The Serpent   
Duets: 
Alan Jay Lerner (1918-1986)
Ah, yes,  I remember it well         from Gigi  
Irving Berlin  (1889-1989)        
Anything you can  do, I can do better   from Annie Get your Gun 
Encores:
Primary Colors       from the Letters of  Sister Helen Prejean    Jake Heggie 
(FvS)
 
Duet: "La ci darem la mano" from DON GIOVANNI
 
It was an  evening full of memories for many of the old timers in the 
audience who have  been enjoying the two artists for over thirty years! Indeed, they 
mentioned this  was the 35th year since they first collaborated together. 
Neither singer would  want to fill a concert hall these days, but the audience in 
the intimate  Terrace Theater with an oversold house of about 500 (there was a 
waiting list  for tickets!!) truly appreciated the fine artistry offered.
 
Mr. Stilwell sounded a bit blustery and sometimes frail in his first set. I  
would have chosed something different than Faure with it's quiet subtleties, 
but  the essence of the voice still pervades and offers up something special 
for most  of us who knew it back when...
Ms. vonStade looking splendid in a flowing black taffeta bottom with a  
blouse and magnificent colorful jacket never failed to impress. I loved the  
selection of Viardot songs with the beautiful slow adoration of the stars in Die  
Sterne and every word in every piece she sang being imbued with meaning, not to  
mention clarity, excellent diction and understanding.
 
It was the Copland songs that mad everyone leave in bliss at intermission.  
"The Little Horses" was sung as the end all of lullabies, the traditional songs 
 to Mr. Stilwell were stalwart, and "Simple Gifts" the most sublime of all. 
Our  2-1/2 year old Samuel would have easily recognized the final duet "I 
Bought Me A  Cat" which was funny, tender and truly a treat.
 
After intermission I realized again that some Monteverdi can be  so much 
recitative. That said, the Mahler was so impressive, especially Mr.  Stilwell's 
morbid tale of mortality in Der Tambourg'sell, with its repetitive  death knoll 
in the piano. Indeed, I have completely failed to mention the  excellent work 
of LAURANA MITCHELMORE. 
The next Rheinlegenchen reminded me of all those Cherubino's I heard Ms.  
vonStade sing in years past. Ms. vonStade announced that "Lob des hohen  
Verstands" was about a nightingale and cuckoo in a music contest judges by an  ass, 
saying, "We've all been in those situations."
 
The American set brought more musical genius, including an interesting  piece 
called "Zeal" composed by Ms. Mitchelmore's daughter, Vivian LeWine, who  was 
in the audience.
The final set was sheer comedy and fun, but it was the Jake Heggie encore  
that truly brought out the essence of Ms. vonStade's  vocal qualities. This  
song, from letters written by Sister Helen Prejean while living on a Native  
American reservation, was gorgeously accompanied by Julietta Curenton on the  
flute with music that was so totally evocative of the setting, it was simply  
amazing to be transported.
 
Not a soul present will forget last night, from those of us who have known  
these voice for years, to the young singer who attended with his wife and left  
their ten day old baby at home with the grandparents, simply because this  
evening would never be repeated.
 
ALAN J.  SAVADA, CTC
Washington, DC

"Uns is gegeben, daß wir immer meinen,  anderswo wäre das Glück, und so 
beneiden wir alle, die anders sind."--Reisebuch  aus den Österreichen Alpen by 
Ernst Krenek
translates as:
It is our lot  always to imagine that happiness lies elsewhere, and so we 
envy all things that  are different.
"The lure of travel set my heart afire"--Erich Korngold from  DIE TOTE STADT
"If you ask me what I came into this world to do, I will tell  you I came to 
live out loud--Emile Zola
****************LIFE IS A  CABERNET!

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