We went to a lunchtime concert at the Four Seasons Centre. It was an interesting mix. The local tenor Richard Margison performed with his 19 year old daughter, Lauren, and pianist Christopher Mokrzewski. Margison is an opera singer of international stature currently singing The Tenor/Bacchus in the COCs production of Ariadne auf Naxos. Lauren, at 19, is already a well established performer and recording artist in a more popular vein. They both do crossover. Richard sang in a rock band and in folk clubs for ten years. Lauren was the youngest child ever to sing in the Canadian Opera Children’s Chorus and is currently enrolled in the Classical Vocal Performance programme at University of Toronto.
In the first half of the programme Richard powered through art songs by Scarlatti, Duparc and Beethoven and Lauren did a pretty good job with a couple of Schubert songs. She’s musical and accurate but a little tentative and underpowered, but then at her age one wouldn’t expect anything else. Then they switched to more popular rep. Richard sang a Gordon Lightfoot song, Moon River and You’ll Never Walk Alone, the latter sounding rather odd to one who used to live across the road from Anfield! There was a definite element of a battleship navigating a kayak slalom course but he did sound a bit less operatic than many singers would have done. Lauren also did a couple of similar songs plus a duet with her dad. She sounds utterly comfortable and mature way beyond her years in this rep.
In the intro to the concert we had been told that Lauren had chosen to sing Nessun Dorma at her audition for the Children’s Chorus way back so it was no surprise that Richard picked that as an encore. Calaf is one of his signature roles. He practically blew the roof off the Richard Bradshaw Auditorium. All in all, another fun, free concert.
Musical plans for the immediate future include an Ensemble Studio concert in the RBA tomorrow lunchtime, La Cenerentola at the Four Seasons Centre on Friday night and the MetHD broadcast of Die Walküre on Saturday.