"Always leave them wanting more" could have been the motto for today's most enjoyable recital, given by Spanish coloratura soprano Amaya Arberas accompanied by Peruvian guitarist David Galvez and British pianist/violinist David Shenton. The encore, composed by late 19th c. composer Ruperto Chapí brought the audience to their collective feet. It isn't often that we New Yorkers get to hear zarzuela and we hope that Opera Hispanica will remedy this lack.
We also loved the genuine Spanish flavor of Fernando Sor's "Si dices que mis ojos" and "Mis Descuidados ojos" as well as Joaquin Turina's "Cantares". An instrumental by Astor Piazzolla entitled "Oblivion" was performed by Mr. Galvez and Mr. Shenton on violin, an instrumentation that evoked more subtleties than the bandoneon.
Ms. Arberas has a finely focused voice with a beautiful fioritura, especially lovely in Mauro Giuliani's "Ad altro laccio" and the better known "Di tanti palpiti" in which she showed some lovely effects on the scale passages and some knockout embellishments of the vocal line in the final stanza.
Ms. Arberas' French was quite lovely in Reynaldo Hahn's "A Chloris" and Gabriel Fauré's "Après un rêve". We were less taken with one of her encores "If I loved you" from Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel; we found the Spanish accent to be not quite fitting. We hope this marvelous recital will be a harbinger of more Spanish music to come. Olé!