Merola's The Rape of Lucretia
Lohengrin at the Bayreuther Festspiele

Schwabacher Summer Concert 2013

7.18.13_Merola-2600* Notes * 
Last night's Schwabacher Summer Concert began with a sparkling overture from Der Schauspieldirektor. The orchestra, conducted by Kevin Murphy, was on the stage and there were subsequent synchronization problems with the singers starting with Act I, Scene 5 of Don Giovanni. Aviva Fortunata made for a dramatic Donna Elvira, while Rhys Lloyd Talbot struggled to stay with the orchestra in "Madamina, il catalogo è questo." The excerpt of Don Carlo from Act IV, Part 2 went better, and Alex Desocio sounded solid as Rodrigo.

The most delightful part of the evening was certainly from Act I, Scene 3 through 5 of L'Italiana in Algeri. Matthew Newlin was humorous as Lindoro, his light voice sounded somewhat constricted at the top, but is quite pretty. Zanda Švēde made for a wonderfully sassy Isabella, and her scenes with Pene Pati and Issachah Savage (pictured above, photograph by Kristen Loken) were charming. The direction was somewhat overwrought, but this was easy to ignore.

Pene Pati (Edgardo) impressed in Act II, Part 2 of Lucia di Lammermoor. His voice is pleasantly metallic and generally appealing. The singers of the chorus did not sound cohesive because of how slowly they walked to the foot of the stage, and how spread out they were. Pati was also strong in the excerpt of L'Amico Fritz, singing the title role of the opera. Zanda Švēde sang Beppe quite beautifully as well.

The performance ended with the end of Otello. Aviva Fortunata sounded nearly ideal as Desdemona, but having her simply stand completely still for much of her singing was rather dull to watch. Issachah Savage was arresting as Otello with his full, lovely voice.

* Tattling * 
Latecomers were loud and obnoxious, stamping down the aisles and aggressively swinging down seats. Watch alarms sounded a every hour and a cellular phone rang after the words "Oh! Gloria! Otello fu."