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Bulgarian opera star Veselina Vasileva was a charming Pamina who looked like a fairy-tale princess and sang with silvery tones. Tamino was portrayed by Vale Rideout, a fine singing actor who has free and easy top notes.

Vaselina Vasileva as Pamina and Shon Sims as Papageno. Photo © Robin Grant
Vaselina Vasileva as Pamina and Shon Sims as Papageno. Photo © Robin Grant

The role of the Queen of the Night is particularly hard to cast because of its unusually high tessitura and tricky coloratura. Svetlana Trifonova, a principal soloist with the Mariinsky Theater of St Petersburg, Russia, showed that the role fits her talents well. She sang its taxing runs with iridescent waves of radiant sound. Another part that demands an unusual voice is that of Sarastro. This character has to sing some of the lowest notes ever required and Viacheslav Pochapsky of the Bolshoi Opera sang them with powerful dark tones.

Viacheslav Pochapsky as Sarastro. Photo © Robin Grant
Viacheslav Pochapsky as Sarastro. Photo © Robin Grant

 

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Copyright © 11 April 2006 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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