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Tannhäuser is American-born tenor Robert Gambill's signature role and he has the high notes for it. A convincing actor, he sang with stylistic command, unwavering tones and excellent diction. Grammy winning mezzo-soprano Petra Lang was a sensuous Venus. Her sultry voice cast a spell over the audience and her enticements were formidable. Choreographer Nicola Bowie completed the Venusberg Scene with tasteful and interesting classical choreography that was skilfully executed by soloists Bryan Ketron and Blanche Hampton with the corps de ballet.

Camilla Nylund as Elisabeth and Robert Gambil as Tannhäuser. Photo © 2008 Cory Weaver
Camilla Nylund as Elisabeth and Robert Gambil as Tannhäuser. Photo © 2008 Cory Weaver

The saintly Elizabeth was appealing portrayed by Finnish soprano, Camilla Nylund, a small woman with a surprisingly large, clear voice. Her silvery high notes and dramatic skills made her a perfect choice for this role. Canadian baritone Russell Braun made a fine role début as Wolfram von Eschenbach, a part his father sang on the Solti Recording. His Hymn to the Evening Star was memorable for its warm and enveloping sonorities. He, too, is a fine actor and he made the onlooker understand his unrequited love for Elizabeth.

The Hall of Song. Photo © 2008 Cory Weaver
The Hall of Song. Photo © 2008 Cory Weaver

 

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Copyright © 4 February 2008 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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Jenna Orkin: Writer Wannabe Seeks Brush With Death - From the heights of greatness (the Juilliard School; musicians Rosalyn Tureck and Nadia Boulanger) via way-ward paths to the depths of wickedness these reminiscences will entertain and enlighten.