An unusual lunchtime recital

Luca Pisaroni, currently singing in the COC’s The Marriage of Figaro, and pianist Timothy Cheung performed in the RBA at Tuesday lunchtime.  It was unusual and what was unusual was the choice of repertoire; rarely heard 19th century songs by composers who are much better known for opera.  In fact I’m not sure I had heard any of the programme before.


The first half consisted of seven Italian songs by Bellini, Donizetti and Rossini.  Mostly these were pretty straight forward, rather sentimental, love songs but Bellini’s Me voglio fa’na casa had some nicely weird imagery and one of the Rossini numbers was about an orgy; though one that was either very tame or somewhat under-reported.  The French songs were by Gounod and Saint-Saëns and were also quite sentimental though in a more spiritually tortured French sort of way.  In fact the only real change of mood came with the encore; Saint Saëns’ Danse macabre.

So probably not rep I’d go out of my way to hear again but Pisaroni performed it extremely well.  This was controlled, expressive lieder singing of a high order.  Lots of colours.  Lots of nuance.  Appropriate variation in tone and dynamics.  Basically the real meal deal.  And Timothy Cheung was equally assured and equally musical.  So 10/10 for performance quality.


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