Sunday, June 29, 2014

Eric Owens Master Class

Thursday evening Merola Opera presented bass-baritone Eric Owens in a master class for an audience of Merola members. Mr. Owens was cheerfully avuncular, & he focused on refining the sound of all 4 singers in the class. His suggestions were fairly technical & were confusing to me, but I am not a singer. He often demonstrated what he wanted by singing it himself.

Baritone Alexander Elliott sang "O du mein holder Abendstern" from Tannhäuser with a beautiful, open, resonant sound, & Mr. Owens worked to smooth out his line & German diction. Soprano Talya Lieberman sang "Oh! Quante volte" from Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi. Mr. Owens was an exacting listener as he coached her to soften her voice on the aria's long first note.

Mezzo Nian Wang sang remarkably clear & effortless triplets in the coloratura aria "Parto, parto" from La clemenza di Tito, & Mr. Owens aimed at brightening her sound. When he asked her to sing in an exaggerated nasal voice, her gutsy attempt caused the audience to laugh & applaud. Mr. Owens frequently put his index finger on the bridge of his nose to demonstrate a point, & Ms. Wang somehow started imitating him by singing with an upraised index finger in front of her face.

Bass-baritone Rhys Lloyd Talbot, nattily dressed in a pink shirt & bow tie, portrayed a suave devil in an aria from Gounod's Faust. He was an expressive actor, & his stage laughs were wonderfully insinuating. Mr. Owens worked to make his big voice more legato. Apprentice coach Edoardo Barsotti accompanied Mr. Talbot adroitly.

The master class ran for 2 hours without a break. I did not eat dinner beforehand, so I was grateful for the reception afterward, which was attended by Mr. Owens & the Merolini & had substantial food offerings.

§ Master Class & Reception With Eric Owens
Merola Opera Program 2014

"Wie Todesahnung ... O du mein holder Abendstern" from Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner
Alexander Elliott, baritone
Sahar Nouri, piano

"Oh! Quante volte" from I Capuleti e i Montecchi by Vincenzo Bellini
Talya Lieberman, soprano
Sahar Nouri, piano

"Parto, parto" from La clemenza di Tito by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Nian Wang, Mezzo-soprano
Kirill Kuzmin, piano

"Vous qui faites l'endormie" from Faust by Charles Gounod
Rhys Lloyd Talbot, bass-baritone
Edoardo Barsotti, piano

Thursday, June 26, 2014, 7:00 - 9:00 PM
San Francisco Conservatory of Music


Michael Strickland said...

Way to Quentin it, dude.

Axel Feldheim said...

I was not aware ahead of time that the event included a reception, but I was very hungry.