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Thread: I Capuleti e i Montecchi at Washington Concert Opera, Washington, DC

          
   
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    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    I Capuleti e i Montecchi at Washington Concert Opera, Washington, DC

    I Capuleti e i Montecchi at Washington Concert Opera, Lisner Auditorium, Washington, DC

    I Capuleti e i Montecchi, by Vincenzo Bellini, to a libretto by Felice Romano, premiered at Teatro la Fenice, Venice, March 11, 1830.

    Performance of Sunday evening, 28 September, 2014.

    Artistic Director and Conductor: Antony Walker
    Orchestra and Chorus of Washington Concert Opera

    Sung in Italian with stage surtitles

    Cast (In order of appearance)

    Tebaldo: David Portillo
    Capellio: Jeffrey Beruan
    Lorenzo: Liam Moran
    Romeo: Kate Lindsey
    Giulietta: Nicole Cabell


    Since this was concert opera, there was no staging and only a modest interaction between performers to indicate plot points. Olga Peretyatko had been billed as singing Giulietta, who was replaced by Nicole Cabell. Although WCO made no announcement regarding Ms. Peretyatko, the "Washington Post" noted her absence was due to illness. There was no indication of the audience being disappointed by the replacement, perhaps because the audience was familiar with Ms. Cabell, who had sung the role of Medora in WCO's production of Il Corsaro last spring.

    The performance opened with a strong performance by David Portillo, singing the role of Tebaldo, Romeo's romantic rival for Giulietta's attention. Portillo sang the secondary role of Tebaldo with ease and beauty of tone and from the outset, getting the evening off to a great start. Singing together with the other male roles, Capellio and Lorenzo, the voices blended well, with Jeffrey Beruan's Capellio sounding especially distinguished. I had seen Portillo sing the role of David in Die Meistersinger in Chicago last year, as was really impressed with his singing ability and his stamina.

    The performance got better and better as Bellini's real dramatic and musical thrust kicked in. Kate Lindsey, whom I had not heard of, was astonishingly good. Her opening notes as Romeo immediately conveyed a beautiful voice that easily handled the role and sang with pronounced expression. Similarly, Nicole Cabell's Giulietta also was sung sweetly and with expression.

    The big duet between Romeo and Giulietta brought down the house. The performance was riveting and the two women's voices were exquisitely matched - Lindsey's mezzo was several shades darker, I thought, than Cabell's soprano, leading to some vocal contrast and an especially strong presentation that still echoes a couple of days later.

    The second act wasn't as strong as the first - Bellini's music is bittersweet and there are fewer opportunities for vocal fireworks. The singers still handled it beautifully, and the audience responded at the opera's conclusion with an immediate standing ovation.

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    Opera Lively Media Consultant Top Contributor Member Ann Lander (sospiro)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    I Capuleti e i Montecchi at Washington Concert Opera, Lisner Auditorium, Washington, DC

    I Capuleti e i Montecchi, by Vincenzo Bellini, to a libretto by Felice Romano, premiered at Teatro la Fenice, Venice, March 11, 1830.

    Performance of Sunday evening, 28 September, 2014.

    Artistic Director and Conductor: Antony Walker
    Orchestra and Chorus of Washington Concert Opera

    Sung in Italian with stage surtitles

    Cast (In order of appearance)

    Tebaldo: David Portillo
    Capellio: Jeffrey Beruan
    Lorenzo: Liam Moran
    Romeo: Kate Lindsey
    Giulietta: Nicole Cabell


    Since this was concert opera, there was no staging and only a modest interaction between performers to indicate plot points. Olga Peretyatko had been billed as singing Giulietta, who was replaced by Nicole Cabell. Although WCO made no announcement regarding Ms. Peretyatko, the "Washington Post" noted her absence was due to illness. There was no indication of the audience being disappointed by the replacement, perhaps because the audience was familiar with Ms. Cabell, who had sung the role of Medora in WCO's production of Il Corsaro last spring.

    The performance opened with a strong performance by David Portillo, singing the role of Tebaldo, Romeo's romantic rival for Giulietta's attention. Portillo sang the secondary role of Tebaldo with ease and beauty of tone and from the outset, getting the evening off to a great start. Singing together with the other male roles, Capellio and Lorenzo, the voices blended well, with Jeffrey Beruan's Capellio sounding especially distinguished. I had seen Portillo sing the role of David in Die Meistersinger in Chicago last year, as was really impressed with his singing ability and his stamina.

    The performance got better and better as Bellini's real dramatic and musical thrust kicked in. Kate Lindsey, whom I had not heard of, was astonishingly good. Her opening notes as Romeo immediately conveyed a beautiful voice that easily handled the role and sang with pronounced expression. Similarly, Nicole Cabell's Giulietta also was sung sweetly and with expression.

    The big duet between Romeo and Giulietta brought down the house. The performance was riveting and the two women's voices were exquisitely matched - Lindsey's mezzo was several shades darker, I thought, than Cabell's soprano, leading to some vocal contrast and an especially strong presentation that still echoes a couple of days later.

    The second act wasn't as strong as the first - Bellini's music is bittersweet and there are fewer opportunities for vocal fireworks. The singers still handled it beautifully, and the audience responded at the opera's conclusion with an immediate standing ovation.
    Nice review Hoffmann. Thank you.

    I like concert performances as it gives you the chance to really concentrate on the music.
    " if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it, and above all become passionate about it."
    Roald Dahl

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    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    I agree. Concert opera also is an ideal format for producing less well-known operas with otherwise terrific music that might be a harder sell in larger auditoriums. WCO plays in Lisner Auditorium on the George Washington University campus, which seats 1490 - and was full.

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    Member Recent member ValkyrieSue's Avatar
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    Kate Lindsey is well known to me: Seattle Opera 2010 in Amelia as the adult Amelia (written for her by composer Daron Hagen) , 2011 in the mezzo version Rosina of The Barber of Seville, last May as Nicklausse/Muse in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, and next May I can't wait for her Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos. We in the Pacific NW are blessed to have her with us very often.

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    Opera Lively Site Owner / Administrator / Chief Editor Top Contributor Member Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ValkyrieSue View Post
    Kate Lindsey is well known to me: Seattle Opera 2010 in Amelia as the adult Amelia (written for her by composer Daron Hagen) , 2011 in the mezzo version Rosina of The Barber of Seville, last May as Nicklausse/Muse in Les Contes d'Hoffmann, and next May I can't wait for her Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos. We in the Pacific NW are blessed to have her with us very often.
    Yes, she is very good.
    "J'ai dit qu'il ne suffisait pas d'entendre la musique, mais qu'il fallait encore la voir" (Stravinsky)

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    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    I always look for an awesome Romeo and my favorite so far is Vesselina Katsarova (You Tube Clip)

    So far the next best I have found is Joyce DiDonato. Alas, she has not recorded the entire opera.


    I am now checking out Elina Garanca in the set I bought today. Looks promising (You Tube Clip).
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

  7. #7
    Opera Lively Staff Member Top Contributor Member Hoffmann's Avatar
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    I am now checking out Elina Garanca in the set I bought today. Looks promising
    The Netrebko/Garanca (Fabio Luisi, Cond.) is superb. My personal favorite recording of this opera, though, is the Muti with Gruberova and Baltsa (1985), which catches both of these wonderful singers at their peak.


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  8. #8
    Senior Member Top Contributor Member Florestan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffmann View Post
    The Netrebko/Garanca (Fabio Luisi, Cond.) is superb. My personal favorite recording of this opera, though, is the Muti with Gruberova and Baltsa (1985), which catches both of these wonderful singers at their peak.
    I don't have that one and I do like Gruberova, so ..... Ah, to the buying of music, there is no end! At least it is a blissful activity if one can afford it.
    "Ah,non credea mirarti si presto estinto, o fiore." --Bellini, La Sonnambula (also written on his tomb).

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