The Arts

Roy Thomson Hall Recital Series – Alexandra Deshorties, soprano and Howard Watkins, piano

Roy Thomson Hall Recital Series – Alexandra Deshorties, soprano and  Howard Watkins, piano featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

Alexandra Deshorties is a French-Canadian soprano with an international reputation, yet she is virtually unknown here. Her recital at Roy Thomson Hall over the weekend was her first in Canada.

Deshorties is not for all markets. Those who loved the concert appreciated her heart-on-the-sleeve dramatic expression, but more to the point, her big, soaring, burnished voice with a powerful top, and her delicious low notes. If ever there was a soprano made for bel canto, it is she.

On the other hand, her voice can be what my guest called “raw”. Her top can be shrill, even sharp if she puts on power – but one listener’s shrill can be another’s thrill. I’ll take excitement over bland.

Deshorties did a big sing – Haydn, Debussy, Wolf, Poulenc, Weill and Piaf. She was accompanied by pianist Howard Watkins who likes overt emotion and who was, therefore, a good match for Deshorties.

Now, if we can only get to see her in an opera…

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Alexandra Deshorties, soprano and Howard Watkins, piano
Roy Thomson Hall Recital Series
Apr. 25, 2010
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