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Subject: Re: Michael Spyres and the WOW factor
From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 21 Sep 2017 20:40:41 -0400

text/plain (91 lines)

I know I've also mentioned Michael's sister Erica out here before - she played opposite 
Natalie Dessay in the Theatre Du Chatelet's production of Sondheim's "Passion" last 
season. She's also just been cast in the ensemble (and as understudy for Julie/Carrie, I 
believe) of the upcoming "Carousel" revival on Broadway, which will star Renee Fleming 
as Nettie ("You'll Never Walk Alone").

I had a wonderful time working with Erica in a few shows when she was based in Boston, 
though my favorite of her Boston regional performances is still the very operatic role of 
Clara in "The Light In The Piazza." (Originated by Kelli O'Hara in New York, who will be 
Despina in this year's Cosi at the Met.) Erica also toured with the Broadway show "Once," 
where she also played fiddle onstage. 

In any case, talent clearly runs big in the Spyres family. ;-)

On Thu, 21 Sep 2017 19:12:08 -0400, Stephen Charitan <[log in to unmask]> 

>Autumn seems to be the time the "New Season" starts - the MET, Broadway,
>TV, and the leaking of "Oscar Bait" movies.  New Recordings used to be more
>a part of this mix, and they continue to cling to the fringe.   My "Maria
>Callas Live" set is on its way and I'm optimistic about the new Florez /
>Mozart disc pre ordered on Amazon.  In the meantime I took a chance on
>Michael Spyres Opera Rara recital disc "Espoir" primarily because of the
>unusual repertory. - Halevy, Auber, Otello's (Rossini) entrance aria in
>French.  I've seen Mr. Spyres live once - in Pesaro's "Aureliano in
>Palmira."  and despite the lack of an "announcement" I think he must have
>been having an off night.  The voice seemed small - in the small Teatro
>Rossini - and his admittedly stratospheric high notes appeared to be taken
>in a detached, enervated falsetto.  Based on reports I entered the theatre
>expecting to be impressed and left disappointed.  The Zenobia, Jessica
>Pratt, was the undisputed star of the show.
>This disc, "Espoir" proves that I missed an opportunity to hear a dazzling,
>young (36), quite unique voice at its considerable best.   His range is
>formidable, virtuosic highs to rich, almost basso like lows (the Rossini
>Otello exhibits all of this).  Outside of Leon Escalais,  Hermann
>Jadlowker, and Richard Tucker where do you hear a tenor - let alone a
>baritenor (which I think is his natural territory) ornament with such a
>fully executed trill.  Even Florez with all his skill and panache can't
>deliver one.  Yet Ozark born Mr. Spyres does just that in the excerpt from
>Halevy's "Guido and Ginevra."  A feel for legato seems to be his by nature
>and the ease with which he navigates the extremes of his registers is
>almost seamless.
>His Enrico II from Donizetti's "Rosamunda d' Inghilterra" shows him capable
>of going from the limpid lover to the clanging heroics of the cabaletta.
>Too bad they didn't allow him a da capo to ornament - he could have done it
>to a turn.
>The second excerpt from "Guido and Ginevra" has the dulcet toned Spyres
>pared with the "etched in acid" voice of Joyce El Khoury.  Given agility
>and timbre, I think I would rather hear him in the Mad Scene from Lucia as
>opposed to her.
>Based on my unsatisfying, one off experience in Pesaro is Spyres a trick of
>the microphone?  I don't think so...he's been singing Big roles like Arnold
>in "Tell," the Rossini "Otello" (an impressive recording on Naxos), and
>most recently Enee in "Les Troyens" (soon to be released with Joyce di
>Donato as Didon...)
>Surprise yourself - try "Espoir" - and ride a time machine back to a time
>when a singer could trill through Rossini and march with aplomb through the
>heroics of Verdi and Berlioz....
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