The Glenn Gould School Vocal Showcase at Mazzoleni Hall last night was a chance to see twenty of the school’s singers in action. It was a curious mix actually; one bass, one baritone, a handful of tenors and mezzos and a lot of sopranos. There was a huge range of age and experience too from 18 year old first years to quite seasoned post-grads. As usual with these things I’m not going to attempt to be comprehensive but instead focus on the highlights as I saw them.
Top marks to soprano Joanna Burt for a really fine performance of the Kulyas from Harry Somers’ Louis Riel. These recitals tend to be an endless stream of mainstream rep and it’s great to hear something a bit different. This wasn’t just different it was really good. It’s a tricky piece; largely a cappella and sung in Plains Cree. The fox draped Ms. Burt with Emily Phernambucq on flute and Jenn Tung on elkskin drum pulled it off with aplomb. Ms.Burt later reappeared with bass Gabriel Sanchez-Ortega in Gershwin’s Bess, You is My Woman Now where both singers displayed an idiomatic grasp of the material and rich tone.
Two singers who I always seem to see on the same bill also impressed. Mezzo Christina Campsall nailed a fierce Parto, parto. I’m really looking forward to her in Rape of Lucretia at MYO in a few months. Tenor Asitha Tennekoon sang with power and expression in a fine version of J’ai perdu mon Euridyce. He’s come a long way since I first heard him. There’s a degree of control and just a heck of a lot more power than was once the case.
The impressive sopranos of the ADP program included Meghan Jamieson in Di, cor mio from Handel’s Alcina. She had an impressive technique and was prepared to take a few risks on the repeat. It augurs well for the spring production. Jocelyn Fralick sang a really nice Song to the Moon with very decent shaping of the line and a rather beautiful tone.
The concert wound up with a Peter Tiefenbach extravaganza for the whole company; Why isn’t Love like it is in the Opera? Diva jokes, bad puns, tunes. About what one would expect and great fun.
Peter Tiefenbach, Jenn Tung and Rachel Andrist accompanied with their accustomed skill.