We are here to encourage the development of gifted young singers and to stimulate the growth of New York City's invaluable chamber opera companies. But we will not neglect the Metropolitan Opera either. Get ready for bouquets and brickbats.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Whether you perceive Elliot Madore as barihunk or baribard depends upon whether you were using your eyes or your ears.  Mr. Madore sings as if he wrote the poetry and the music himself and that is one rare gift.  In his recital last night for the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program he demonstrated skills as a recitalist that equal his skills onstage at the Met where we recently thrilled to his performance of the role of Lysander in Enchanted Island.  Wisely, he scaled down his strikingly rich voice to suit the size of the room and similarly modulated his dramatic intensity to just the right degree.

Accompanied by Natalia Katyukova, he opened the program with a song by Glinka entitled “I remember that magical moment” which allowed him to express a wide range of emotions.  Two songs by Tchaikovsky followed--”At the ball” and “Don Juan’s Serenade”.  It was during the latter that Ms. Katyukova’s piano skills were most evident.

Switching from Russian to the deceptively light hearted Banalités of Poulenc, we enjoyed the humor of “Chanson d’Orkenise”, the languor of “Hôtel”, the wistfulness of “Voyage à Paris” and the exquisite diminuendo at the end of “Sanglots

But it was Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen that broke our heart as Mr. Madore seemed to be authoring on the spot the compelling emotional journey of a young man disappointed in love.  Using impressive dynamic control and word coloring, he made the trip from grief to irony and false joy to fury and finally acceptance.  One could scarcely hold back the tears and deal with the lump in the throat.  Comprising only four songs, this cycle, Mahler’s first, covers similar material to Die Schöne Müllerin and Winterreise only far more succinctly.

The program closed with some songs by Ives, one of which is a setting of Heine’s poem “Ich grolle nicht” which, while beautifully sung, could never match the setting by Schumann in his Dichterliebe.  As encore, Mr. Madore sang “My Boy Bill” from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel.  He sang it with the same dramatic intensity and connection with the text that was shown in the rest of the program.

As Mr. Madore finishes his second year with the Lindemann program and pursues his operatic destiny we wish him all the best.  With talent like that, luck is unnecessary.  We hope to see him at the Met singing Don Giovanni, perhaps his signature role?

© meche kroop

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