To this reviewer, Il Tabarro most certainly sounds like a Puccini opera – right from the opening chords which become a recurring motif – and there are several stand-alone solos that aren’t as famous as those from his other operas, but in the hands (or throat) of the right performer they can stop the show.
"The characters are flawed, but some take those flaws and make their world better, and others use it to the detriment of others. Power doesn't have to be evil, but the intersection of power, greed, and relentless injustice is terrifying."
An absolute show-stealer, and it was obvious the performers were having as much fun with the scene as the audience was.
De Sévigné’s performance was ethereal and lovely. With a fuller, more mature sound that has maintained all of its agility and height, she soared effortlessly in lengthy, dazzling coloratura over ensembles, duets, and choruses with incredible skill.
"When I started giving my pieces silly titles and putting them all in lowercase, it took the pressure off me to be a genius, and then I could concentrate on just writing my music."
If opera can be seen as a circle struggling to widen the circumference of its audience, concerts consisting of song alone are a much smaller and much more esoteric circle. Ms. Fleming is trying to change that and is currently devoting her life to ensuring that there will be at least one more generation of song artists.
What's always drawn me to Braid on stage is her innate dramaticism. She understands character, nuance, backstory, and everything that an actor's actor loves to see another actor exercise on the stage.
Like, I can handle some dramatic symbolism, some commentary on a piece that has enormous wisdom in it; I suppose it's because all the neat little ideas -- Cherubim rides a unicycle! Susanna is obsessed with the Countess' fur coat! Figaro keeps leaping into an open pit in the floor! -- don't ever add up to something that's more profound than what Mozart and Da Ponte gave us.
"Puccini really captured the raw emotionality of a mother. He always wrote his ladies so well but specifically, with Suor Angelica, there's a deep sorrow there that makes it very interesting to portray. Being a mother now, it gives me a new perspective on it. It connects on a deeper level. Frankly it's a very hard aria to get through with dry eyes."
With the first Berg-to-Schubert transition, virtually seamless though that was hardly the primary intent, Welser-Möst made clear that these works, written just over a century apart, were part of a musical continuum.