Last night was the second of two apprentice concerts showcasing the young singers who participate in this extraordinary program. These forty young artists are selected from across the country (I was told that this year there were nearly one thousand applicants) and last night’s program was every bit as interesting and exciting as the first concert last week.
Extended scenes from eight different operas, fully staged and costumed with scenic elements and accompanied by piano, featured a wonderful array of talent.
As with last week’s posting, I can’t mention them all, but outstanding performances were given by baritones Zachary Nelson and Jonathan Michie, who couldn’t have been more contrasting in style, in scenes from ANDREA CHENIER and GIANNI SCHICCHI respectively.
Tenors Matthew Newlin and Matthew Grills both stood out in large ensemble scenes taken from the 2011 Pulitzer Prize winning opera SILENT NIGHT (Mr. Newlin) and Puccini’s GIANNI SCHICCHI (Mr. Grills.)
There were also two sopranos who stood out for me, first was Lindsey Russell as a fleet voiced “Zerbinetta” in a scene from the prologue from ARIADNE AUF NAXOS, and second was Sara Heaton as “Juliette” simply lovely in the wedding quartet from Gounod’s ROMEO AND JULIET.
I return to Dallas this morning, but head out again on Wednesday for Cooperstown, New York and the Glimmerglass Festival, the last stop on my summer travels searching for the world’s most talented artists to bring to the Dallas Opera.