A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

music
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

TRIBUTE TO VERDI (article first published : 2001-02-15)

The KZN Philharmonic opened its summer subscription season (February 8) with a centennial tribute to the Italian operatic giant, Giuseppe Verdi. The evening offered a wealth of vocal riches, notably from two of the three soloists and, by and large, from the massed chorus. The latter, comprising three local choirs, the Durban Serenade Choral Society, the Hibberdene Vocal Waves and the East Coast choristers, collectively demonstrated the powerhouse of untold vocal wealth that lies in our region, potentially one of the wonders of the musical world.

What are we waiting for, in this operatic desert of ours? Money, for starters, and an appropriate training infrastructure.

Omri Hadari led a loose-knit account of the Vespri Sciliani Overture with his players not always at one with his beat, setting an intermittent precedent for the rest of the evening.

Rigoletto’s Cortigianni introduced the baritone soloist Fikile Mvinjelwa, last heard here in Durban as Valentine a couple of years back. This is a major operatic talent which is surely about to take off internationally. Mvinjelwa’s sound is opulent and even, with reserves of power throughout an extensive range.

The temperature dropped somewhat with the appearance of Israeli guest, Larissa Tetuev, who sounded misplaced as Gilda, her tone edgy and shallow, spreading uncomfortably at the top. She was more at home later in the extracts from La Traviata but was out of her depth in Tu che la vanita, Elisabetta’s grand scena from Don Carlo. Stagewise, she presented a graceful and appealing figure.

After a rather tepid account in the first half of the programme of Azucena’s Stride la vampa (shorn of the second half of the scene), Sibongile Khumalo went on to steal the show with a performance of Princess Eboli’s great aria, O Don Fatale from Don Carlo which brought the house down. With a voice that is one of the glories of our age and the artistry to do it justice, this singer is a national asset who should be heard across the globe.

Hadari’s presence on the podium at times suggested low tide, disappointing in a number of key moments. Such as in Macbeth’s Pieta, rispetta, amore when that great, sweeping melody that is Verdi, and Verdi alone, washes across the aria’s emotional spectrum, carried by the strings. It came and went without much impact, lovely as it was.

Still, the evening’s enjoyment far outweighed the rest.




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart