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Subject: Renee Fleming add finesse (and singing) at Master Class with Washington National Opera Young Artists(10-3-18)
From: Alan Savada <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Alan Savada <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 3 Dec 2018 15:05:39 -0500

text/plain (30 lines)

Renee Fleming appears regularly in and around DC and often visit the WNO studios for a class, but today it was open to patrons and some local voice students, which was a special treat. I actually sat next to a new first year student at the University of Maryland Opera Studio who was charming and we discovered we had a mutual friend in that her teacher is the great Carmen Balthrop, who I have known for over 35 years!

We heard four singers today and all were in top form, I will simply state what they sang and give some remarks.

Soprano Marlen Nahas started with Rusalka's "Song to the Moon" and WNO YA Program Director Rob Ainsley noted that she just sang the piece at a reception for the Czech Ambassador who complemented her pronunciation! Well, if there's one soprano around you might be a bit scared of singing this in front of, it has to be Renee Fleming, but everyone, including the teacher, felt it was a wonderful performance.

She was accompanied by YA pianist Christopher Koelzner who switched off with YA pianist Thomas Morris.

Next up was baritone Joshua Conyers with "Sois immobile" from Guillaume Tell, and I have to say that probably after Rusalka, anything French would be a sure intimidation as Ms. Fleming is fairly fluent. Mr. Conyers was super and again applause abounded.

Hannah Hagerty, along with these other three, is the new mezzo this season and she chose "Wie du warst…" from the opening of Rosenkavalier another opera Renee Fleming is so well known for. I had the pleasure of hearing her first Marschallin in Paris and her most recent and last one in NY; they shall be in my memories as wonderful moments.

Indeed as Ms. Hagerty sang, Ms. Fleming came in with the Marschallin's lines during the pause, beautifully intoned at that. Another wonderful moment that this singer shall be able to add to her resume.

Last came our new bass, Samuel Weiser, who I have been speaking about a lot here recently. He blew us all away with Daland's aria from the Dutchman and really just made my day!

ALAN SAVADA of Washington, DC

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