Wednesday, March 13, 2013

SF Lyric Opera Goes to Denmark

Last night I was part of an invited audience for a rehearsal of The Little Match Girl Passion by San Francisco Lyric Opera. They presented this favorably-reviewed production at ODC last year & have been invited to perform it next month in Odense, Denmark, the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen. The personnel are largely the same, except for baritone Sidney Chen & soprano Jennifer Paulino replacing singers from the original show. Due to the difficulties of scheduling busy performers, this was the 1st & only chance for the 4 singers & Butoh dancer Anastazia Louise to run through the piece together before reconvening in Denmark.

We were missing the projections & lighting cues of the full production, & the singers did not have the actual percussion instruments they would be playing, but the singing was lovely & clear. Mezzo Celeste Winant & Ms. Paulino had closely matching voices & tenor Eric Tuan's high voice was ethereal. Chip Grant, the production's director, filled in for conductor Barnaby Palmer. Ms. Louise executed her anguished movements with sincere fervor, & her performance included hugging members of the audience. Afterwards Ms. Louise spoke a bit about her costume, which incorporates clothing of her grandmother, & she choked up while describing her personal connection to the work. Mr. Grant elicited comments from the audience, many of whom confessed to be quite moved.

§ Den Fynske Opera presents The Little Match Girl Passion
5, 6, 9, 10, 12, 13 April, 2013

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