The Travelled Road is a new recording of songs by Saratoga Springs based composer Evan Mack. Mack sets a rather eclectic set of texts and his musical style is varied. His roots in opera are evident and I enjoyed these songs much more than most American art song that comes my way.
The first piece is A Little More Perfect and it sets Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Obergefell vs. Hodges; the case that effectively legalised same sex marriage in the United States. It’s scored for mezzo-soprano, piano and cello. It starts out quite sparely, though the cello is quite lush from the beginning and then builds to a much more operatic climax. Megan Marino has the heft to carry the louder bits and she has near perfect diction. She’s well supported by John Arida on piano and Jameson Platte on cello. Continue reading →
Last night I was in a very full Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre for the second annual COC Studio Ensemble competition. Ten singers, selected down from 146 in auditions across Canada and in New York were competing for cash prizes and an opportunity to join the COC Ensemble Studio. COC General Director Alexander Neef chaired the panel of judges which included soprano and teacher Wendy Nielsen as well as assorted COC brass. Chorus Master Sandra Horst MC’d in her own inimitable fashion. The format was typical of such events. Each singer offered five arias. They got to sing one of their choice and then the judges requested a second from the remaining four. Piano accompaniment alternated between the equally excellent Rachel Andrist and Steven Philcox.