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Subject: Philly's AVA arrives in DC again for an awesome encore (5-15-17)
From: Alan Savada <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Alan Savada <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 16 May 2017 14:58:31 -0400

text/plain (45 lines)

The Philadelphia Academy of Vocal Arts is known as one of the finest vocal educators in the world and for the past several years they have been bringing graduates and singers to Washington for a benefit concert to raise money. Last night brought the largest group of singers ever joined by able pianist Luke Housner.

While this is an invitation event only, I am sure that in the future anyone can attend for a donation to the AVA. Last night there were three underwriters, two supporters and fourteen (including me) on the Benefit Committee, which merely means we donated, which we are so thrilled to do as so many of my clients not only have graduated AVA, but many actually attend there.

Only about 50-60 people were in attendance at the Arts Club of Washington, and in my love of the front row and sheer stupidity, I was blown away by each vocal presentation LITERALLY.

Mezzo-soprano, Hannah Ludwig was first at bat and hit a home run with "Cruda Sorte" from Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri. From her first notes I could have sworn she was a contralto, in the vein of Ewa Podles as her lows were awesome and agility unbounding.

Baritone, Jared Bybee was no less impressive with a booming "Vision fugitive" from Massenet's Herodiade which he substituted at the last minute, but clearly was ready to impress us with.

Soprano, Vanessa Vasquez, who had recently won the Met Regional Auditions here in DC, was next with "Chi'il bel sogno di Doretta" from Puccini's La Rondine.  There was a lot of Puccini on the program and boy does it suit her voice to a tee.

Tenor, Mackenzie Gotcher, who will be at Wolf Trap this summer gave us a gorgeous "La fleur que tu m'avais jetee" from Carmen followed by the star pull of the evening, soprano Latonia Moore in Onegin's Letter Scene. I have always associated Ms. Moore with bigger roles and honestly she would make a brilliant Tatiana, not to mention Tosca, which she sang later...but more of that anon.

Ms. Vasquez was joined by Mr. Bybee in "pura siccome in angelo" from La tyraviata and then Ms. Moore joined Mr. Gotcher for more Puccini in the Act I duet from Tosca, "Ora stammi a sentir." Afterwards, we learned that she heads to Sydney for the role; I wish I could be in that house.

Ms. Ludwig returned for an adorable "Chacon a son gout" from Die Fledermaus performed in English with a superbly excellent Russian accent.

Des Moines Metro Opera is where you should go this summer in the USA to hear Tosca as Ms. Vasquez makes her professional debut there as Liu, which was her next rendition for us. "Signore ascolta" was truly heartfelt and had us all choking with our tears; I have not heard a Liu like this in years!

The final aria on the program was "Sola, perduta, abbandonata" from Manon Lescaut and this is easily another role for Ms. Moore to essay as she reminded me dramatically of my first Manon Lescaut and then neighbor, Renata Scotto, decades ago at the Met.

We were treated to the Act III duet/quartet finale from La Boheme before more yummy food and wine with these talented performers.

I am already looking forward to next year's event!

ALAN SAVADA of Washington, DC

ALAN SAVADA of Washington, DC

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