* Notes *
Last Sunday the Merola Opera Program held a virtual recital of luminous mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis (pictured) accompanied by pianist Jeanne-Minette Cilliers over Vimeo. The concise, direct performance showcased Bryce-Davis' beautiful voice and lovely warmth as an artist.
The recital began with four pieces in German. Bryce-Davis has a well-supported sound that seems ideal for the drama required for these songs. I particularly loved hearing Robert Schumann's "Die Lotosblume," sung with tenderness and delicacy.
The middle part of the performance included songs in English by African-American composers. These were moving, especially the world premiere of "I Am Not an Angry Black Woman" by Maria Thompson Corley. The way Bryce-Davis channeled the pain and dignity of this song is very effective.
The afternoon ended with the joyful music of Peter Ashbourne, singing three pieces based on Jamaican folk songs. If you missed the recital, it is available on demand until November 30, tickets are available by calling (415) 936-2311.
* Tattling *
The first Peter Ashbourne song, "Banyan Tree," seemed to get slightly out-of-sync as far as the sound and image, this was unsettling.