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Subject: Washington Concert Opera 30th Anniversary Gala with gorgeous and magnificent music (5-11-17)
From: Alan Savada <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Alan Savada <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 14 May 2017 17:59:06 -0400

text/plain (34 lines)

Thursday evening in the cold and pouring rain, hundreds gathered at the elegant National Museum of Women in the Arts for cocktails, hor's d'oevres, a sit down dinner and more, but in between we had a amazing concert which included past performers with WCO such as soprano Sarah Coburn and two new and amazingly talented ones such as mezzo Corrie Stallings and tenor Jack Swanson.

The concert featured the always able Patrick O'Donnell at the piano, who was  marvel at every turn.

Ms. Stallings (who will be in WCO's La straniera this fall) started with the Act II aria from Beatrice et Benedict(Berlioz), "Il m'en souvien..." with her stellar mezzo loaded with fireworks. "Povero Ernesto" from Don Pasquale brought Mr. Swanson's Washington debut which was a fabulous rendition capped by awesome high notes that filled the theater with his clarion and ringing tenor.

Mr. Coburn came to the stage and said, "I really don't want to follow that", and started with Adele's Act I aria from Comte Ory, "En proie a la tristesse..." in which she threw out tons more high notes! Afterwards, Maestro Antony Walker who MC'd the evening, said "I'll have what she had!"

"Alle flito e croce il pianto" from Roberto Devereux had Ms. Stallings exhibiting her gorgeous bel canto technique and Mr. Swanson folled with a blow your mind "Ah mes amis" from Fille du Regiment that did not have a single forced high note at all; each was spot on.

Ms. Coburn gave us the Puritani mad scene "Qui la voce sua soave" which was admirably paced and so languid.

Ms. Stallings had me from the start but the "Non piu mesta...nacqui all'affano" from Cenerentola had me reminded of a young Jennifer Larmore where she hit a home run with bases loaded just for her brilliant ornamentation.

the final selection was the Act III final duet from Puritani for Mr. Swenson and Ms. Coburn.

These three gave us a spectacular evening and the two debuts shall not be forgotten. Watch out for these voices and names!

ALAN SAVADA of Washington, DC

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