Reviewed by Paula Citron
La fedeltà premiata
Opera in Concert
Music by Franz Joseph Haydn
Conducted by Ashiq Aziz
Performed by Susanne Holmes, Graham Thomson, Lesley Bouza, James Levesque, Farah Hack, Rocco Rupolo, Marco Arthur Petracchi and Charlotte Knight with classicalmusicconsort
Jane Mallett Theatre
Jan. 30, 2010
An annual treat has always been Opera in Concert’s early opera accompanied by a musical ensemble. This year’s delightful fare was Haydn’s La fedeltà premiata performed with conductor Ashiq Aziz’s classicalmusicconsort.
We don’t get to hear a lot of Haydn operas, except by the Vienna Boy’s Choir, because the composer is very formulaic and predictable in comparison to Handel or Mozart. Nonetheless, they are always tuneful, and make for an interesting diversion. La fedeltà premiata mirrors Handel in its string of solo arias, and Mozart in the complex extended ensembles that end the acts.
The cast that O in C assembled contained some excellent young singers. Stand-outs for me were baritones Marco Arthur Petracchi and James Levesque. The first is expressive, and the latter is hearty. Mezzo-soprano Susanne Holmes has a warm plumy voice, while soprano Farah Hack’s bright sound is burnished with colour.
Despite some bowing problems, Aziz and his young group of musicians made for a lively accompaniment.