The Queen in Me at the Canadian Opera Company is the culmination of years of work by Kasahara and their creative team to create this monolith of a one-person show. A true one-person show -- not a recital, not a cabaret or salon, but a dramatically driven show that would need to be seen to be believed.
Joyce DiDonato has made a stunning recording. Since we've become accustomed to her perfect technique, rich characterizations and commitment to the message as well as the music, this is not unusual. But with Eden, her new recording on Erato, this masterful mezzo-soprano quite simply astonishes.
I could see Ms. Vaness' artistry in every move of the performers. While there was no groundbreaking staging, I felt a special electricity from the cast, like there was a connection to the greats, which of course Ms. Vaness provides.
Legato in spades and a magnetic presence on the stage that was at times hypnotizing, her "Sempre libera" (an aria that holds a particularly special place in the hearts of Queers in my generation) brought the house down.
Julie Andrijeski and Shelby Yamin (violins), Kathryn Montoya and Nagy (oboes and recorders), Rebecca Reed (viola da gamba) and Mark Edwards (harpsichord) all wear cat masks, a simple and delightfully conspiratorial gesture. These cats know how to work it.
The standout of the evening was Justin Welsh as Leporello. With comedic timing second to none, Welsh’s Leporello was long-suffering, but wily, and every scene he was in was hilarious with so much physical comedy it brought the house down.
The crowd rose to their feet after this aria, applauding and cheering an downright incredible performance. And her singing in the final quartet, from Verdi's Rigoletto, reminded me of Denyce Graves.
It's been quite the long-haul here in the GTA, but it's great to be back on the beat. After two years out of the habit, it was great to find myself at the Museum of Contemporary Art to check out Amplified Opera's first offering in their concert series — after several delays — AMPLIFY 1.0.
The dramatic irony of someone denying paternity (but yet still naming his first computer model after his daughter Lisa) who was no doubt questioning his own lineage is fascinating. Jobs' treatment of the women, and other people, in his life is a dark theme in the work.
All I can say, is that I think this opera has an immense future in the opera house, and I cannot wait to see the life it is no doubt going to take.