<< -- 4 -- Maria Nockin A BALM ON THE EARS
The star of this performance was mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe who sang the dual parts of the goddess Juno and Semele's sister, Ino. She has a smooth, silken sound and her singing was a balm on the ears. It was also a good contrast to the high flying ornaments of Semele. Heather Buck was an enchanting Iris who sang with lustrous tones and excellent agility. Bass John Cheek was an authoritative Cadmus, an amusing Somnus and a proper priest who sang with robust dark tones.
Stephanie Blythe as Ino. Photo © 2006 Tim Fuller
We already knew that Joel Revzen was a fine conductor, but in this production we discovered that he is an excellent harpsichordist as well. Although the orchestra played on modern instruments, the instrumentalists managed to adjust their playing style and tonal quality so that they could approximate the sound of an eighteenth century orchestra. The result was a truly fine performance of an unusual work and an evening full of glorious music making.
Stephanie Blythe as Juno (left) and Heather Buck as Iris. Photo © 2006 Tim Fuller
Copyright © 5 February 2006
Maria Nockin, Arizona USA