Music and Vision homepage Classical Music Programme Notes for concerts and recordings, by Malcolm Miller

 

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The beautiful world of bel canto opera has been the purview of famed conductor Richard Bonynge for more than four decades. He molded both the veterans and the neophytes in this cast into a cogent, musically precise whole, keeping the orchestral dynamics in check so that the soloists were never overpowered. The orchestra showed its melodic strength and rhythmic power when accompanying Timothy Todd Simmons's elegant, strong-voiced chorus.

Soprano Angela Gilbert as Lucia in the famous 'mad scene' in San Diego Opera's production of Donizetti's 'Lucia di Lammermoor'. Photo © 2006 Ken Howard
Soprano Angela Gilbert as Lucia in the famous 'mad scene' in San Diego Opera's production of Donizetti's 'Lucia di Lammermoor'. Photo © 2006 Ken Howard

Lucia was sung by Angela Gilbert, a finalist in the British Broadcasting Corporation's Cardiff Singer of the World Contest in 2003. She had already performed this role in Cape Town, South Africa and in Palm Beach, Florida, and her coloratura was clear and precise. The most unusual aspect of her voice is that the notes above high C have warmth and color. It is also interesting to note that this charming young singer almost never seems to stand still. She gave a graphic portrayal of her character's mental breakdown while spinning out the most intricate vocal lines of the Mad Scene.

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Copyright © 26 March 2006 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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