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.

Sunday, December 11, 2016


Manhattan School of Music Junior Opera Theater

So much youth!  So much talent!  Last night at Manhattan School of Music we got a taste of Mozart Magic, presented by Catherine Malfitano who coordinated and directed an evening of ensembles extracted from several of Mozart's operas.

We are always impressed when esteemed singers pass along their vocal and stage wisdom to the next generation and we applaud the Divine Ms. M. for being among this elite group, along with Martina Arroyo and Marilyn Horne.

She assembled 26 promising Juniors and created an ensemble that worked amazingly well together. Dressed all in black, they were still able to create believable characterizations by means of posture and gesture. Although a particular singer may be asked to sing a different role in a subsequent aria, and the same role may be given to two different singers, there was never any doubt about who was whom.

In place of sets, the artists themselves created the sets with their bodies.  The most outstanding example of this was when Count Almaviva uncovers Cherubino--not under a tablecloth, but under the bodies of the members of the ensemble. This is imaginative directing at its finest.

We saw scenes from Le Nozze di Figaro, Idomeneo, Don Giovanni, Cosi fan tutte, La finta giardiniera, and Il re pastore.  We enjoyed them all and look forward to witnessing the future artistic development of these promising young artists.

Music director and accompanist was the always excellent Eric Sedgwick.

In our very own operatic gluttony, we could not bear missing the other cast of La Clemenza di Tito and wrapped up our evening with another dose of Mozart.  Mozart is like champagne--you can have too much (we did) but you can never get enough (we didn't).  If you want to read about the terrific Tito, vivid Vitellia, and splendid Sesto, please return to the original review below for an addendum. Just scroll down.  You know how!

(c) meche kroop

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