|Michael Fennelly, Juan Jose de Leon, James Edgar Knight, Avery Amereau, Nian Wang, Tracy Cox, Murray Rosenthal
The program opened with Tracy Cox singing "Pace, pace mio dio" from La Forza del Destino, one of our personal Verdi favorites. Ms. Cox has a sizable soprano and an expressive quality that gives us goosebumps, not to mention a marvelous messa di voce and a big "money note". It is easy to see why this Young Artist at LA Opera has been wining competitions all over and, as she matures and harnesses that big voice, a Wagnerian future may be down the road.
Mezzo Nian Wang gave a polished performance of the Violin Aria from Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffman, using her fine French to convey the composer's intentions with remarkable communicative skills. The training she received from Martina Arroyo's Prelude to Performance Program was evident.
Tenor James Edgar Knight, also a graduate of the same program, has a warm romantic sound that was perfectly suited to Lehar's "Dein ist mein ganzes Herz" from The Land of Smiles. His training in musical theater as well as in opera makes him a double-threat. His dynamism engaged the audience and drew us in. He seemed to change the colors of his voice with great ease, but we are sure it took a lot of study and work to achieve that flow.
Mezzo Avery Amereau delighted us with a sound as rich and warm as a cup of espresso. In "Connais-tu le pays?" from Thomas' Mignon, she sounded rich and yet delicate. We are looking forward to hearing more from this young artist whose French diction was impressive.
Tenor Juan Jose de Leon chose the right aria to dazzle the delighted members of Opera Index--"Ah! Mes amis, quel jour de fête!" from Donizetti's La Fille du Regiment. His secure high C's were tossed off with ease; we speculated that this aria was what won him so many awards.
These five singers won Emerging Artist Awards and Encouragement Awards. Many other awards were given at the Opera Index 2013 Vocal Competition and their achievements will be celebrated at future events. It is easy and not at all costly to join Opera Index and one can thereby support these stunning singers and participate in the many membership events. We recommend it highly.
© meche kroop