|Brian Zeger and Ying Fang at Alice Tully Hall
Ying Fang's Neighborhood Concert on April 16th (archived here) was one of the highlights of the season. We were overjoyed to learn that she would be repeating the same program last night at Alice Tully Hall. The Alice Tully Vocal Arts Recital is given to promote exceptionally talented Juilliard singers on the threshold of a professional career. And Ms. Fang seems to have crossed that threshold and has had an enviable season of music making with more coming up.
But we felt that we already said everything there was to say about the program and used every encomium at our disposal to describe Ms. Fang's overwhelming artistry. What more could we say?
That everything she sang was well worth a second hearing? That we would gladly hear her again tomorrow? That her opening song "Endless Pleasure" from Händel's Semele gave us endless pleasure?
We could add that she provided her own translations for three of the four lovely Chinese songs on the program sung in mellifluous Mandarin and that a second hearing of these songs convinced us that their quality merited their inclusion in the program.
Brian Zeger, Artistic Director of the Juilliard Vocal Arts Department and Executive Director of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, last night wore his collaborative pianist hat. He has played for all the greats of the opera world and we are happy to see Ms. Fang included in that illustrious company, a position she well deserves.
We love the softness of Mr. Zeger's hands and the way he always supported Ms. Fang. We noticed the unusual piano part of Bizet's "Oeuvre ton coeur" which has a martial feel but is in 3/4 time. We noticed how spontaneous was the appearance of Ms. Fang's gestures and facial expressions, in spite of the fact that everything must have been rehearsed down to the last flick of a finger. Artful but artless.
The audience would not be silenced, even after the encore. There were torrents of applause and a lengthy standing ovation afrer the moving "Shepherd's Song" from Wagner's Tannhäuser, which Ms. Fang has performed onstage at the Met. There had to be a second encore--and there was. Ms. Fang sang an aria from Händel's first oratorio from the 1707 Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disnganno, a work she will sing at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, in the middle of a very busy summer.
Aren't we lucky to have had her here in New York?
(c) meche kroop