reviewed by Paula Citron
Three of Each Gala Concert
Opera in Concert
Accompanied by Stuart Hamilton, Raisa Nakhmanovich and Michael Rose with chorus conducting by Robert Cooper
Starring Joni Henson, Allyson McHardy, David Trudgen, Amanda Jones, Luiza Zhuleva, Catherine Rooney and Alexandra LeBlanc
At the Jane Mallett Theatre
With its Three of Each gala, Opera in Concert proved that you can have a program of aria rarities and still work. The bill of fare went from Handel to Ravel, but what was odd is that all the voices were high – the lone man being a countertenor.
Soprano Joni Henson and mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy were the most seasoned performers and showed that polish. Henson’s dramatic soprano is a thrilling commanding sound, while McHardy’s is honey-coated and fluid.
Clearly a big name to come is countertenor David Trudgen. A tall, strapping man, he has the strength to force out a voice of undeniable beauty and expression. Coloratura mezzo-soprano Amanda Jones confirmed her talent, as did soprano Luiza Zhuleva. Young sopranos Catherine Rooney and Amanda LeBlanc gave good account of themselves, as did the O in C chorus.
It was nice to have 80-year-old Stuart Hamilton back in action at the piano, and a zarzuela aria from artistic director Guillermo Silva-Marin.