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In an atmosphere laden with emotion, the chorus began to intone 'Requiem aeternam dona eis.' Canadian Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka sang with elegant, polished tones except for the extremes of her range where she seemed a bit insecure. Later this season, she will later sing Tosca with the company. The mezzo-soprano was the enormously talented Stephanie Blythe whose resonant, organ-like voice was never covered, even by the huge orchestra playing fortissimo.

Tenor Arturo Chacón-Cruz, an Operalia winner, was chosen to substitute for the ailing Jonas Kaufmann and he made the most of the opportunity. He sang with a secure technique and well-focused warm tones that should make him an excellent Rodolfo this season. Bass René Pape completed the group with his strong dark timbre.

Placido Domingo and Adrianne Pieczonka in Verdi's Requiem at Los Angeles Opera. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard
Placido Domingo and Adrianne Pieczonka in Verdi's Requiem at Los Angeles Opera. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard

Directed by Grant Gershon, the chorus sang with passion and created a dramatically unified sound. Maestro Domingo gave a masterful account of the score and never let the tension sag. Together with the soloists, chorus and instrumental virtuosi, he captured the soul of Verdi's immortal music. Fidelio and the Verdi Requiem definitely made Los Angeles Opera's opening weekend a time to remember.

Copyright © 23 September 2007 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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