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KZNPO CONCERT: JUNE 3 (AMENDED) (article first published : 2004-06-6)

The Norwegian mezzo-soprano Ingebjorg Kosmo, who made a great impression when she sang with the KZN Philharmonic earlier this year, repeated the success when she returned to the Durban City Hall to perform operatic arias before an appreciative audience.

The operas represented were Verdiís La Forza del Destino and Massenetís Werther, not unfamiliar ground but a pleasant distance off the beaten track. Once again Miss Kosmo demonstrated her commanding qualities as a singer: a beautiful, unforced, controlled tone with deceptive power, rising above weighty orchestration when the occasion demands it.

She also has a quite rare stage magnetism, a charisma, to use an overworked word. She is an imposing figure and she manages to combine authority with a kind of beguiling innocence. Her three arias, Verdiís O don fatale and Massenetís Les lettres and Les larmes, covered a variety of moods and she was, to my ears and eyes, totally convincing in all of them.

The orchestra, under the direction of the visiting Dutch conductor Arjan Tien, another old favourite with Durban audiences, made a significant contribution to the operatic first half of the programme, which included the La Forza del Destino overture, a compendium of the operaís dramatic and eloquent melodies.

After the interval came a compelling performance of Dvorakís Symphony No. 8 in G major, a wonderful work which reveals that the composer was much more than ďa simple Czech musicianĒ, as he modestly described himself. - Michael Green




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