Nov 6, 2007

Opera All-star Night

Jennifer Taylor for The New York Times

According to the New York Times and Anne Midgette, Diana Damrau and Joyce DiDonato were the unchallenged stars of the Richard Tucker Foundation Gala held last Sunday.

Chosen extracts:
" Ms. DiDonato, having flown in from Switzerland for the day to pinch hit, evidently decided to make her trip worth everyone’s while, especially with an “Una voce poco fa” from Rossini’s “Barbiere di Siviglia” that was among the most spectacular vocal feats this listener has ever heard, thrown off with ease, a sense of fun and pinpoint control. "

By the way, Joyce DiDonato explains in her blog how she fill in for Susan Graham, resulting in a 29-hour frenzy : " I'm booked on a round trip ticket leaving in 14 hours, arriving in NY 4 hours before the Richard Tucker Gala at Avery Fisher Hall, set to return immediately after the concert, arriving in Geneva tomorrow just in time to step off the plane and into my first orchestra staging rehearsal of that Handel opera back in Geneva. By my calculations, that's 29 hours. Yes, I know. I'm nuts."

But back to the gala:
" Ms. Damrau offered a “Glitter and Be Gay” from Bernstein’s “Candide” that was over the top in every sense, including the top of the staff, above which she floated with starry radiance. You might have called it too campy (and a little hard to understand) had she not had the vocal goods to back up her active wooing of the adoring audience.

Ms. Damrau even overshadowed Renée Fleming."


Gtl Torn T has put some extracts of the gala on his blog, including "Una Vocce poco fa" (Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia) sung by Joyce DiDonato and "Glitter and be gay" (Bernstein's Candide) sung by Diana Damrau. I must admit Damrau doesn't surpass Natalie Dessay in that aria.

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