What a super evening. The three singers gave us a scintillating programme full of some more thought worthy French and English song, alongside a sprinkling of well known arias and duets. Fiona sings almost exclusively the same repertoire as I did myself many years ago, so I feel especially 'bonded' with her voice, and feel that I can offer something to her in terms of interpretation as well as technique.
As a singing teacher, it is almost impossible for me to let vocal music flow over me, as it does, and should with general audiences. I am always thinking ahead of breathing, phrasing, word painting etc so my 'reviews' of vocal recitals always come with an agenda ! Sometimes it is very exhausting to never simply sit back and enjoy.
Fiona sang with such glowing warmth and played with some of the more romantic arias in a utterly communicative way. She pulls one into her world, and yet at the same time stretches out to the audience in a truly gripping way. Some of the support was a little wobbly, but when she had the time to think about it it was relaxing and recovering before the next phrase. When the need was for a much quicker breath the release still needs a little work!
I was especially thrilled with her 'Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix' from Samson and Delilah by Saint Saens. It is a majestic aria, and she has all the vocal size to give it real power. It finished the recital and brought the house down ! It will, in the future be an excellent audition piece, and will show all her artistry as well as such heart.
The soprano, Hazel, was lovely, a fluid and almost languishing warm tone and a beautiful sense of bel canto line. I especially enjoyed her O Mio Babbino - classic repertoire, but she gave a beautiful performance. The young Brazilian Tenor came into his own when playing roles, and his Donizetti was delightful, full of nuance and fun.
I was a proud woman tonight.
What a job to have !
Delilah's triumph over Samson