* Notes *
The inaugural indoor Schwabacher Summer Concert occurred yesterday at the Herbst Theatre. YoungJoo An began the evening by singing Tonio's "Si puo?" from Pagliacci. The baritone burst out behind the side door curtains in a most absurd manner. His tone was full and pleasant though his vibrato was a bit out of control at times.
Next up were Ben Wager and Nathaniel Peake as Le Comte des Grieux and Le Chevalier des Grieux in Act II Scene 2 of Manon. For a bass Wager is surprisingly reedy, and tenor Peake has a light, bright voice. Soprano Leah Crocetto (Manon) has lots of vibrato, but is able to maintain good intonation. Her voice is both pretty and piercing.
Before the intermission came the end of Act II Scene 1 of La Traviata with YoungJoo An as Germont and Nathaniel Peake as Alfredo. An did not quite have enough heft for "Di Provenza il mar," and he was off key a few times, but his voice certainly has appeal as well.
The second half of the evening consisted of Don Pasquale's second act. René Barbara was appealing as Ernesto, though his last note in "Cercherò lontana terra" was rather strained. Ben Wager was perfectly untuous in the title role and David W. Pershall was an amusing Dr. Malatesta. Leah Crocetto shone as Norina, she was delightful.
* Tattling *
The audience was somewhat sparse, and mostly well-behaved. No watch alarms or mobile phones rang, though there was a bit too much talking aloud during the recicative of Don Pasquale.
Apprentice coach Eileen Downey said hello to us before the show, letting us know that the organ music in Manon was just her on a keyboard. We also conversed with soprano Joélle Harvey at intermission, evidently they just finished staging Act I of Don Giovanni for Merola. Cedric of SFist introduced himself at intermission as well.