Autobiographical recitals: Joshua Guerrero in the AmphitheatreReview
Tuesday’s recital - part of the Canadian Opera Company’s Free Concert Series in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre - seemed to suit the day’s merciful bit of warm weather.
Tenor Joshua Guerrero and pianist Andrea Grant offered up a programme that was easy on the ears: Neapolitan songs by Tosti and Malavasi, tastes of Zarzuela like “No puede ser” (La taberna del puerto) and “De Este Apacible Rincon de Madrid” (Luisa Fernanda), and Britten’s Winter Words, seemingly to keep Guerrero’s feet on the ground.
True to the recital’s title, My Story through Song, Guerrero wove an autobiography around his selection of music. He spoke about his exposure to music during seminary school, his unashamed love for Andrea Bocelli, his days working as a singing gondolier in Las Vegas, his time spent living in China, and his connection with Plácido Domingo in Los Angeles.
With his easy tenor, you could hear how Guerrero is a versatile singer, completely in love with the job. Torontonians can catch him as the Duke of Mantua in the COC’s current production of Rigoletto, and as Rodolfo in next season’s La bohème. At the same time, his bonus rendition of “Santa Lucia” - one of his stand-by numbers of his gondolier years - made me think, for the first time, about traveling to Las Vegas.
It was one of those recitals that really does let you get to know an artist more. He was honest, open, and almost wide-eyed about his art; happily, he has the serious chops to back up the biography.
Guerrero’s Rigoletto performances happen February 11, 17, and 23. For full details, [click here.] Check out the full Free Concert Series line-up here.