Phillip Addis in the RBA

2017-01-31-fcs-addis-021Phillip Addis, currently one of two Papagenos at the COC, together with pianist Emily Hamper, gave yesterday’s lunchtime recital in the RBA.  First up were Ravel’s settings of Jules Rénard’s Histoires Naturelles.  These are quirky, fun pieces with sometimes quite complex, impressionistic piano lines.  They seemed well suited to Addis’ full, characterful baritone and his obvious zest for comedy. The text twists and turns both linguistically and as narrative calling for acute timing in places, which Addis delivered.

The second set was Waypoints; four songs by Erik Ross to texts by Zachariah Wells (both of whom were present).  The first piece, Broken was being given for the first time.  The texts are interesting and bear rereading.  The settings, often repeating phrases over an over, I found a bit uneven.  They are essentially conventional and tonal ranging from the rather fierce setting of the second song, I, to almost Broadwayish in the final number, Waypoints.  They are pleasant enough pieces and they got a sympathetic treatment from Addis and Hamper but I’ve heard a lot more interesting Canadian art song.

The performance finished up with an arrangement by Hamper of the lullabye, The Rainbow Connection.  Again pleasant but not very substantial.  Which, I suppose, was my overall reaction to the concert.

Photo credit: Chris Hutcheson.

A quiet week

dougalNot so much on this week.  Tuesday COC chorus member and guitarist Doug MacNaughton, currently appearing as Antonio in Marriage of Figaro, has a noon hour concert on Tuesday in the RBA featuring a new piece by Dean Burry and other works ranging from John Rutter to Donald Swann.  Then on Friday CASP have an evening recital at the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse featuring Philip Addis and Emily Hamper.

Siegfried and Marriage of Figaro continue at the COC.  The last performance of the former is today at 2pm while the latter plays Wednesday and Friday at 7.30pm.