Thursday, October 25, 2012

Laura Krumm & Ao Li at the Rex

Ao Li, 10.24.2012 Baritone Ao Li at Salon at the Rex.San Francisco Performances opened their intimate Salons at the Rex series with a recital by Adler Fellows Laura Krumm & Ao Li. Mr. Li's big voice burst out for a rousing "Fin ch'han dal vino" from Don Giovanni at the start of the program. He clearly enjoyed being in character & gave us a hearty laugh at the aria's end. He & Ms. Krumm then alternated in song & opera selections for the next hour. Mr. Li put a lot of power into everything. His voice for the Erlkönig in the Schubert song was amusingly smarmy. He was obviously happy presenting 2 songs in Chinese: a jolly love song from Kazakstan & then a rhetorical, patriotic-sounding song.

Laura Krumm & Robert Mollicone, 10.24.2012 Mezzo Laura Krumm & pianist Robert Mollicone at Salon at the Rex.Ms. Krumm's voice is clean, unfussy & easy to listen to, & she also got very involved dramatically. She was appropriately silly in 3 Rossini songs, for which she described her character as a "Venetian soccer mom."  She was very sympathetic to the mood of internal anguish in 3 songs by Jake Heggie about sculptor Camille Claudel. Pianist Robert Mollicone was busy, playing up a storm for Erlkönig & Mr. Li's Rachmaninoff aria & providing dreamy, impressionistic accompaniment for the Heggie songs. The recital ended with the duet "La ci darem la mana" from Don Giovanni, playfully sung & acted.

The audience of about 70 applauded enthusiastically for each number, & some gave the artists a standing ovation. In a Q&A, we learned that Mr. Li was drawn to opera at the age of 15 after seeing an opera singer on TV & that Ms. Krumm covered Joyce DiDonato in SF Opera's recent I Capuleti e i Montecchi.

§ Salon at the Rex
Laura Krumm, mezzo-soprano
Ao Li, baritone
Robert Mollicone, piano

"Fin ch'han dal vino" from Don Giovanni — W.A. Mozart (1756-1791)
Mr. Li

La Regata Veneziana — Gioachino Rossini (1792-1886)
    Anzoleta avanti la regata
    Anzoleta co passa la regata
    Anzoleta dopo la regata
Ms. Krumm

Die Forelle — Franz Schubert (1797 -1828)
Mr. Li

"Connais tu le pays?" from Mignon — Ambroise Thomas (1811-1896)
Ms. Krumm

Chinese Folk Songs
    Arm in Arm (Kazak folk song)
    The Descendants of Dragon
Mr. Li

Camille Claudel: Into the Fire — Jake Heggie (b.1961)
    La petite Chatelaine
Ms. Krumm

"Kak, nézno priklonyás' ko mne" from Aleko — Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943)
Mr. Li

"La ci darem la mana" from Don Giovanni — W.A. Mozart (1756-1791)
Ms. Krumm & Mr. Li

Wednesday, October 24, 2012  6:30pm
Hotel Rex

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