|Katja Heuzeroth, Rebecca Spence, and Tami Swartz|
At the risk of leaving out some of the fine performances, we will just mention a few that impressed us, since the cast was enormous. We got a kick out of "Oh, show us the way to the next whisky bar" from Kurt Weill's Mahagonny Songspiel, having just heard it the night before at "Baden Baden 1927"; Soprano Tami Swartz and mezzo Erika Person sounded great together and dramatic values were not neglected. No one was credited with direction but we suspect it was Ms. Hastings herself.
Peter Kendall Clark used his ample baritone and glamorous presence to good advantage in the romantic "Just we two" from Romberg's The Student Prince with soprano Elizabeth Fagan who also did a lovely duet with Laurelyn Watson Chase in Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel. We far prefer the German but Adam Klein (appearing courtesy of The Metropolitan Opera) did a fine English translation. His travesti performance as the Witch was a high point of the evening as he flew around the stage on a broom!
Soprano Charlotte Detrick performed the "Czárdás" from Johann Strauss, Jr.'s Die Fledermaus, demonstrating a lovely coloratura sound. We love our Mozart and soprano Sarah Caldwell Smith and Bass Cory Clines did a swell job with "Ich gehe, doch rate ich dir" from Die Entführung aus dem Serail. We loved the opening number from Das Rheingold "Lugt, Schwestern" (pictured above) and thought Rebecca Spence's soprano and Katja Heuzeroth's mezzo best suited the Wagnerian style.
Scenes from Oscar Straus' The Chocolate Soldier (based on the Shaw play) were admirably handled by sopranos Katie Travis and Charlotte Detrick, mezzo Alison Taylor Cheeseman, tenor Nils Neubert, and the very funny bass Cory Clines. Scenes from Zemire und Azor by Ludwig Spohr gave soprano Molly Davey and tenor Rogelio Peñaverde a chance to shine and shine they did. Another lovely voice was heard when mezzo Rachel Arky performed in songs from Heinrich Marscher's Der Vampyr. The audience favorite seemed to be the all-male ensemble "Oh the study of feminine ways" from Lehar's The Merry Widow.
It was a splendid evening and we hope there will be many such evenings to come with operetta treated as seriously as opera.
© meche kroop