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Subject: Re: a memorable MARIA STUARDA from Washington Concert Opera or "two sopranos soar" (4/7/13) - next season announced
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Date:Mon, 8 Apr 2013 12:46:19 -0400
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I basically agree with Alan Savada's review, except I was looking for more vocal fireworks from Ms. Jarman as Maria.  For example, she did not sing the long sustained notes in the prayer (did part of the first one, but didn't fill out the phrase, and didn't do the second at all), nor did she sing a lot of the high notes she could have (some of these are interpolated, but then Donizetti himself wrote/approved of many of them).  I just wanted more "bravura" singing in the part over all.


As mentioned, the concert outside was extremely noisy and distracting, I noticed at intermission that people where being arrested and hauled off into cop cars.  (Which explained the large numbers of sirens we heard too.)


The real reason I am writing though it so mention Washington Concert Opera's next season, which will be:


I Masnadieri by Verdi with Rene Barbara as Carlo, Lisette Oropresa as Amalia and Hao Jiang Tian as Massimillano and


Il Corsaro also by Verdi (it's his year of course) with Michael Fabiano as Corrado, Tamara Wilson as Gulnara and Nicole Cable as Medora


I'm looking forward to both.


Best,


John Greiner




-----Original Message-----
From: operalust <[log in to unmask]>
To: OPERA-L <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Mon, Apr 8, 2013 9:51 am
Subject: a memorable MARIA STUARDA from Washington Concert Opera or "two sopranos soar"  (4/7/13) - next season announced


Last night Washington Concert Opera under the baton of director Antony Walker 
presented its second and final opera of this season 
MARIA STUARDA 
Maria-Georgia Jarman 
Elisabetta-Brenda Harris 
Roberto-Michael Spyres 
Talbot-Patrick Carfizzi 
Cecil-Troy Cook 
Anna-Alexandra Loutsion 

Having just seen the Met's production I have to say that there is so much drama 
in this work, some of it can be lost in 
a concert version. Nonetheless, the singers gave us an exemplary performance 
with many truly memorable moments. 
Ms. Harris' opening "Ah quando all'ara scorgemi" was indeed a gorgeous dramatic 
start which took off magnificently in the 
cabaletta. Alas, for some insane reason, George Washington University (which 
owns Lisner Auditorium where the performance was held) 
allowed a monstrous rock street fair outside and the thudding bass of the 
2-story high speakers outside could be heard and FELT in our seats 
throughout the entire first half, the intermission and the first minutes of the 
second half. It was truly a "shanda" (Yiddish for shame) that 
the staff of such a respected university would allow a rental of a hall to occur 
at the same time as their street party! 

Anyway, the music progressed and we came to the delicious tenor-soprano duet 
"Era d'amor l'immagine" which is the tenor's plea 
to Elizabeth to meet with Mary. Mr. Spyres has a wonderful voice and superb ping 
at the top, my only regret was that the final Sul crin la rivale" 
seemed to lack the dramatic fireworks. 

We moved right into Act II with no break (as it was done at the Met) and a 
visibly 8 month pregnant Ms. Jarman was glowing in a tight black gown with black 
sequined shoulders. 
Her voice was so enticing with those rapturous floats in her opening recit. "Oh 
nube che lieve..."was blissfully sung to the pounding rock music heard in the 
theater! 
Ms. Jarman's coloratura and cabaletta were truly amazing. 

The ensuing sectet sets the scene for the big confrontation, "Morta al mondo" 
and it was funny when the audience giggled at the title "You obscene 
shameful whore," but the cat fight was on and intense for sure. 

After the intermission it took about 10 minutes for the outside music to 
subside. "Quella vita e ame funesta" was a tour de force performance from Ms. 
Harris 
as Mr. Cook's menacing Cecil sneered. Ms. harris shone in the amazing cabaletta 
where she really snarled her "va" to Robert. 
The trio, "Deh per pieta..." was superb and sadly the end of Elizabeth for the 
opera. 

The second scene offered up a superb portrayal by Mr. Carfizzi who gave great 
pathos to Talbot and honestly could have converted any Protestant. 
His intonation was perfect and the blending for the voices divine. 
Kudos to the wonderful opening chorus of the final scene and also for their 
performance in Mary's prayer, "De! Tu di un'umile preghiera" with Ms. Jarman's 
amazing soaring and floating notes which just kept coming. 
It was truly a wonderful night even down to the tiny role performed by Ms. 
Loutsion who we need to keep our eyes on. 










ALAN SAVADA of Washington, DC 


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