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.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Jodi Burns
Adam Ulrich
Kyle Guglielmo
For those of us who adore bel canto arias, Sunday afternoon's recital was quite a treat.  The chief attraction seemed to be lyric soprano Jodi Burns whose bright resonance and liquid trill combined with a sense of emotional abandon served to illuminate Gounod's "Je veux vivre" from Roméo et Juliette.  The accuracy of her descending scale passages were notable.  No less notable was the control of volume in "Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante" from Bizet's Carmen.  Micaela's aria is written to be moving and moving it was.  In "O mio babbino caro", she floated her high notes beautifully and once again exhibited exquisite control of volume.

Baritone Kyle Guglielmo (do we anticipate a role here?) showed a lot of personality and a pleasant voice in Papageno's suicide aria from Mozart's Die Zauberflöte.  His duet with Ms. Burns was charming.  In "Ah, per sempre io ti perdei" from I Puritani he demonstrated fine phrasing of Bellini's long melodic line. He handled the tricky fioritura of "Come un'ape ne' giorni d'aprile" from Rossini's La Cenerentola.  His unaffected approach to "Joey, Joey, Joey" from Loesser's The Most Happy Fella made the character completely believable and contributed to our conviction that the work is indeed an opera, as really good American musical theater should be considered.

Tenor Adam Ulrich sang "A te o cara" from Bellini's I Puritani with a fine legato and a sweet sound; however the performance was marred by some forcing of the top notes, especially at higher volumes, a flaw we noticed also in his other selections.  We wanted to hear him float his high notes and we wanted to see him loosen up as he did in "Caro elisir" from Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore".  Perhaps holding the prop in his hands gave him a dramatic context within which to perform, or perhaps he really was swigging some wine, because he is a different singer when he loosens up.

The three artists were accompanied by Sean Kelly and worked extremely well together in the trio from L'elisir and in the encore, the Act II trio from Fille du Regiment.  It was an altogether delightful way to spend a late summer Sunday afternoon in New York.  Thanks to sponsor Ed Rosen!

(c) meche kroop

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