by Paula Citron.
University of Toronto Opera Division
Composed by George Frideric Handel
Directed by Michael Patrick Albano
Conducted by Jeanne Lamon and Stephen Ralls
Starring Lucia Cesaroni, Kathleen Promane and Michael Uloth
At the MacMillan Theatre
The University of Toronto’s Opera Division production of Handel’s Ariodante was a class act. Fred Perruzza did amazing things cannibalizing previous sets, while Lisa Magill created attractive medieval costumes. Jeanne Lamon was first violin while Stephen Ralls played the harpsichord, and together as music directors, they led the large U of T student orchestra and their young singers in a spirited rendering of Handel’s music. Excellent attention was paid to tempi.
Mezzo-soprano Kathleen Promane as Ariodanate was quite sensational in her accomplished phrasing and expressive delivery. Soprano Lucia Cesaroni as Ginevra showed a thrilling voice replete with a seductive vibrato throughout. Mia Harris as Polinesso was a lighter-voice mezzo with an attractive sound. Soprano Catherine Marchant was a clear-voiced lyric Dalinda. Basses Michael Uloth and Jerod Bertram as the King and Odoardo respectively showed promising voices but a bit of a wild pitch. Tenor Sean Clark gave Lurcanio his best shot. He has an appealing light lyric if insecure voice.