|Briana Hunter, Elizabeth Chang, Stella Papatheodorou (photo by Leslie M. Ritch)|
We not only heard the singers but had plenty of time to speak with them about their experiences in the programs. On both accounts one can consider the programs of CLA a huge success. Students are trained in diction, style, repertoire, stagecraft and career development. They learn this from native speakers who teach in their own language. It sounds like a total immersion experience.
The recital portion of the evening was led by Briana Hunter whose portrayal of Carmen in Bizet's "Gypsy Song" was as spirited as it was richly sung. She will be performing the role at the Music Academy of the West. She was joined by Stella Papatheodorou and Elizabeth Chang.
|Madison Marie McIntosh and Terence Stone (photo by Leslie M. Ritch)|
A fun Rossini trio from Il Barbiere di Siviglia "Ah! Qual colpo/Zitti zitti" was sung by Maya Yahav Gour (who has a fine rich mezzo) along with tenor Vincent Festa and Xiaomeng Zhang. Embellishments were handled in admirable bel canto style.
|Sean Christensen and John Viscardi (Leslie M. Ritch)|
Tenor Sean Christensen and baritone (yes, he is now a baritone and a fine one) John Viscardi did a fine duet from Puccini's La Bohème--"O Mimi tu più non torni".
|Xiaoming Tian and Tamara Rusque (Leslie M. Ritch)|
Tamara Rusque gave Nedda a great big sound and some intense drama in her duet with Silvio from Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci. Her Silvio was guest artist Xiaoming Tian.
|Donata D'Annunzio Lombardi and Leonardo Caimi (Leslie M. Ritch)|
The trio from the finale of Gounod's Faust --"Anges purs, anges radieux" was sung by Adriana Velinova with a full and resonant soprano that filled the room. Her Faust was Michael Papincak with Fan Jia as the Devil--both guest artists.
Mr. Morton accompanied Ms. Lombardi and Mr. Caimi. Other accompanists were Eri Nakamura, Laetitia Ruccolo, Michael Sheetz and David Mamedov.
Closing the program was "Make our garden grow" from Leonard Bernstein's Candide, conducted by Michael Sheetz. May CLA grow like Candide's garden!
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