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.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Evan Hughes
Bryan Wagorn

Bass-baritone Evan Hughes is finishing his third and final year of the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at The Metropolitan Opera.  Last night at his graduation recital he graciously thanked those who contributed to his development and showed off how much he has learned.   We were remembering his right-on-target performance as Don Alfonso in Cosi fan Tutte.  We are thrilled about his winning First Prize in the Gerda Lissner Competition.

Possessor of a rich round and mellow tone, Mr. Hughes is further notable for a most expressive face and a delightful sense of humor.  He employed all his skills in the recital.  It is our belief that when a singer does his own translations, he/she is more expressive in coloring the words.  Such was the case with the three Schubert songs with which Mr. Hughes opened his program.  We particularly enjoyed the gentle "Des Fischers Liebesglück" with Schubert's ravishing melodic invention; the octave skips upward were lovely.  Mr. Wagorn, whose propulsive pianism impressed us so in "Auf der Bruck" had an opportunity to switch hats from collaborative pianist to soloist in "Ungarische Melodie, D. 817."  Both hats become him equally.

We next heard Brahms at his most melodic: "Meine Lieb ist grün", "Sapphische Ode", and "Von Ewiger Liebe".  Again, Mr. Hughes had done his own translations and sang with impressive intensity.  Some unfamiliar songs in Swedish followed, written by Jean Sibelius, all of which would be worth a second and third hearing. 

In the Chansons Gaillardes by Poulenc which closed the program, Mr. Hughes' mobile face joined his vocal expressiveness to give full measure to the irony of these little gems.  Again, he had done the translations himself to fine effect.  His encore was another song by Poulenc--"Pablo Picasso", from the cycle Le Travail du Peintre.

Mr. Hughes has been having some exciting engagements worldwide and on the stage of The Metropolitan Opera.  We wish him the career his hard work has earned.

© meche kroop

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