MUSIC REVIEW: OPERA WORKSHOP
An hour of opera
By Peter Jacobi H-T Reviewer | firstname.lastname@example.org
July 2, 2012
Students in Carol Vaness’ Summer Opera Workshop offered the first of two performances in Studio 301 of the Musical Arts Center Saturday afternoon (the other is scheduled for the evening of July 25th).
As usual at these events, the qualities of achievement varied, the purpose being to give developing students needed coaching and experience on a far smaller stage and before a far smaller audience than in the MAC’s main auditorium. What gratifies is that these students obviously work on their craft with great diligence and take away from mentor Vaness bundles of ideas and valuable lessons for future use.
On this occasion, the emphasis was on French stage works by Bizet (“The Pearl Fishers”), Delibes (“Lakme”), Poulenc (“Dialogues of the Carmelites”), Ravel (“Sheherazade”), and Donizetti (the French version of his “Daughter of the Regiment”).
The choices of music were interesting; the performances, well considered and promising. Among the highlights: soprano Simran Afsah and mezzo-soprano Emily Smokovich in the magical Flower Duet from “Lakme,” mezzo Amanda Russo as a highly theatrical and vocally persuasive Sheherazade in the Ravel, and soprano Gyehyun Jung putting sparks into the music lesson scene from “Daughter of the Regiment,” singing and acting up a storm.
A former Jacobs School student, Stefano Sarzani, conducted helpfully and with intelligence. Piotr Wisniewski served ever so effectively as orchestra at the piano.