Monday, December 08, 2008

Adler Fellows Gala Concert

Sat December 6, 2008 8 pm
Conductor, Patrick Summers

Les Vêpres Siciliennes, Giuseppe Verdi
San Francisco Opera Orchestra

Capriccio, Richard Strauss
“Verraten hab ich meine Gefühle!”
The Countess – Tamara Wapinsky
Flamand – Andrew Bidlack

Usher House, Gordon Getty
“Now you have seen”
Edgar Allen Poe – Andrew Bidlack
Roderick Usher – Kenneth Kellogg

Tristan und Isolde, Richard Wagner
“Weh, ach wehe, dies zu dulden”
Isolde - Heidi Melton
Brangäne – Daveda Karanas
Men’s Chorus

Samson et Dalila, Camille Saint-Saëns
“Amour! viens aider ma faiblesse”
Dalila - Katherine Tier

Idomeneo, Wolfgang Amdeus Mozart
“D'Oreste, d'Ajace”
Elettra: Tamara Wapinsky

Semele, George Frideric Handel
Act III, Scenes 4 and 5
Semele – Ji Young Yang
Jupiter – Alek Shrader

Cendrillon, Jules Massenet
“Ma pauvre enfant chérie!”
Cendrillon – Daniela Mack
Pandolfe – Kenneth Kellogg

Der Rosenkavalier, Richard Strauss
“Mein Gott! Es war nicht mehr als ein Farce”
The Marschallin – Heidi Melton
Sophie – Ji Young Yang
Octavian – Katharine Tier
Faninal – Kenneth Kellogg

Thanks to an out-of-town subscriber, I had the opportunity to attend the Adler Fellows Gala Concert, which I'd never done before. It's an opera recital with a full pit orchestra but with minimal staging. I thought it was a very enjoyable sampler. The program was heavily German & strangely included no scenes by Italian composers.

The stand-out in the 1st half was absolutely the Tristan scene. Daveda Karanas's 1st dramatic utterance got my attention right away. It was as if the volume of the show had been suddenly turned up several notches. & then Heidi Melton let go with her large, rich voice. Plus she was completely into the character with her acting & expression. I'm convinced she's ready to sing the whole role tomorrow.

Katherine Tier & Tamara Wapinsky were a little less fortunate in their solo numbers, each of them having a problem with a high note. It was a good reminder of just how many risks opera singers take all the time.

I enjoyed the Semele scene that opened the 2nd half. Ji Young Yang has a high, bright voice & a perky stage presence. She looks completely at home on the stage. Alek Shrader has a beautiful smooth sound. I would like to hear him again.

Heidi Melton wowed me again in the Der Rosenkavalier excerpt by sailing right through that Strauss-sized orchestra even as it went to full volume.

The top balcony of the house was completely closed, & I guess I'm surprised that the concert was not better attended. It's not nearly as expensive as a normal opera ticket, & the performances are fine. I like the variety as well. I'd never heard anything from Massenet's Cendrillon before, & now I'm a bit curious.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you completely about Heidi Melton: she was on fire Saturday night, not just vocally but she was completely in character throughout the extended scene. She seemed ready to me to take her place on the world's opera stages.

Alek Shrader was strong, too, and his performance convinced me to attend his recital in February.

Axel Feldheim said...

Hey Craig, thanks for backing up my assessments! I hope we're both right about Heidi, then we can say that we heard her way back when.