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, October 27, 2013


Katja Heuzeroth, Rebecca Spence, and Tami Swartz
Whatever type of music you enjoy, there was something on the menu to please at last night's "Over Easy" a program presented by The Production Nest Egg, established in 2006.  At the piano and at the helm is Elizabeth Hastings, well known to music lovers from the Liederkranz Opera Theatre  as well as from her conducting and harpsichord playing around the country.  She put together a delightful program of opera and operetta favorites, all by German composers, and highlighting singers we have enjoyed in the past and some new ones we hope to hear again.  Many of them were heard previously at the Liederkranz.

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

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful and educated review! If you are still curious, I was the one who directed Alabama Song. I hope our paths cross again in the future. Best Regards - Tami Swartz