Toronto City Opera performed a concert version of Verdi’s Nabucco at St. Andrew’s church on King Street yesterday afternoon. It was strictly a concert version with the principals singing off music stands with no attempt at interaction. The principals were costumed, which helped keep straight who was who and recitative was eliminated in favour of a spoken summary before each scene. That made sense as there were no surtitles. Accompaniment was piano.
Act 1 Finale. L to R. Lauren Estey (Anna), Cristina Pisani (Abigalille), Lillian Brooks (Fenena), Corey Arnold (Ismaele), Michael Robert-Broder (Nabucco), Dylan Wright (Zaccaria), with the TCO Chorus
Today’s recital in the RBA was given by Russell Braun. Carolyn Maule and members of the COC orchestra. The programme, Journeys of the Soul, divided into two quite distinct halves. In the first, Russell was joined by Marie Bedard and Dominique Laplants (violins), Keith Hamm (viola) and Paul Widner (cello) in a performance of Samuel Barber’s Dover Beach; a setting of a text by Matthew Arnold. It’s a very dark text and rather an extraordinary choice for a twenty year old. The music is equally dark and brooding. It’s a great work for Russell though and plays well to the colours of his voice and his keen attention to text. It was a pleasure to hear in the very intimate atmosphere of the RBA.