Last night I attended a terrific concert with Paul Phillips conducting the SMU Symphony Orchestra in excerpts from Wagner’s RING, featuring highlights from Act I of DIE WALKUERE with voice faculty members Virginia Dupuy and Clifton Forbis. This was Virginia’s first foray into Wagner repertoire and a departure into dramatic soprano territory from her usual mezzo-soprano range. Clif Forbis, who was recently appointed to the SMU faculty, needs no introduction to Dallas audiences, since he has sung numerous roles with the company, including his first “Siegmund” in WALKUERE several years ago. He returned in 2009 to open the Winspear Opera House as Verdi’s OTELLO and will be back in February as “Tristan” in Wagner’s TRISTAN UND ISOLDE.
This was impressive singing by any standard and the audience in Caruth Auditorium rewarded the singers with a cheering, stomping standing ovation.
The student orchestra was most impressive (particularly the brass section) and Paul Phillips, who heads the conducting program at the school, led a vibrant performance of these excerpts, as well as orchestral selections from SIEGRIED and GOETTERDAEMMERUNG.