* Notes *
The San Francisco Early Music Society recently presented soprano Ellen Hargis and lutenist Paul O'Dette in a concert of Barbara Strozzi, Alessandro Scarlatti, Antonio Cesti, and Alessandro Piccinini. I skipped the second half of Opera in the Park for the San Francisco performance, and did not regret it. Hargis has a pure, clarion tone. Her high notes are brilliant, only a few of her lower notes did not sound quite as lovely. O'Dette played cleanly, his rather dry technique suited the music and the singer. I especially enjoyed the rhythms of Strozzi's "Questa è la nuova."
* Tattling *
Hargis made a paper airplane during "L'Astratto." The audience appeared quite elderly, and I felt younger than ever seated a few rows back from the front of St. Mark's Lutheran Church. A cellular phone rang during the first Adagio of Scarlatti's "Orfeo," but otherwise everyone was very attentive and supportive.