Yesterday’s Mazzoleni Songmasters concert featured mezzo Lucia Cervoni, tenor Michael Colvin and pianist Rachel Andrist in a varied programme of song. It kicked off with two songs by George MacNutt; Take Me to a Green Isle, sung by Michael, and O Love, Be Deep, sung by Lucia. Both songs are in a quite meditative mood and served to give us a pretty good idea of what we could expect later on. Michael sings very much in the British manner, which comes as no surprise with his extensive work at ENO and the number of Britten roles he sings. Lucia’s dark, smokey mezzo sounded rather more operatic.
The third Canadian Art Song Project annual concert was given yesterday lunchtime in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre. We were given four works; all by Canadian composers, and in a sufficient variety of musical idiom to make for a most interesting concert. Soprano Monica Whicher and pianist Kathryn Tremills gave us Dissidence (trois poèmes de Gabriel Charpentier) by Pierre Mercure. This 1955 work sounds rather like Ravel or perhaps early Poulenc with its symbolist poetry and rather literal musical setting. It sits very nicely for Monica’s voice though and she sang very beautifully. It seems not all modern composers hate sopranos.