* Notes *
Last night's Schwabacher Summer Concert included much strong singing. Scott Quinn sounded sweet as Don Carlo, while Guodong Feng (Rodrigo) blended in a bit more with the orchestra. Deborah Nansteel's Eboli was incredible, her voice is lovely. Elizabeth Zharoff (Giuletta) and Laura Krumm (Romeo) made for an interesting contrast in their Act I excerpt from I Capuleti e i Montecchi, as it is Zharoff that has a darkness in her tone, and Krumm who sounds rather bright, with a controlled vibrato. Cooper Nolan (Edgardo) and Joo Won Kang (Enrico) both sang their Act III, part 1 snippet from Lucia di Lammermoor with a great deal of power.
The excerpt from Act II of Rigoletto was compelling, not least because of Joo Won Kang in the title role. He was able to convey the pathos and humanity of this character. Xi Wang (Gilda) has a pretty voice, she is fluttery at the top and steely in her lower range. After all this Italian opera, the bit of Act III from Eugene Onegin did seem out of place, but Suchan Kim (Eugene Onegin) and Marina Boudart Harris (Tatiana) sang robustly.
The orchestra must have not had much rehearsal time, as the focus here is, of course, on the young singers. The playing in I Capuleti e i Montecchi came off a little awkwardly, and the woodwinds seemed to have trouble in Rigoletto. Maestro Robert Wood conducted with enthusiasm and the overture from L'italiana in Algeri was lively.
The staging, directed by Peter Kazaras, was simple, consisting of no more than 6 black boxes arranged in different formations for each scene. The rearrangement of the boxes between each segment was occasionally distracting, but did define the space just enough to be dramatically effective.
* Tattling *
There was some speaking from audience members when no one was singing. At least one person was using a flashlight to read his program during the performance, perhaps because there were no supertitles.