Feb 21, the almost hour long program at the Bulgarian Embassy was nine selections featuring soprano, Leah Brzyski (who will be a young artist at Santa Fe Opera this summer where she covers Queen of the Night), mezzo Louisa Waycott and up and coming tenor, Michael Butler who only recently turned 20 and is turning heads in and around DC (he is a Young Artist at Des Moines metro opera this summer). Frank Conlon played, amazingly, as he always does, at the piano.
Ms. Brzyski started with an impressive “Ah! Douce enfant” from Cendrillon where her opening coloratura wowed us all, not to mention the beautifully floated notes.
Mr. Butler started with Faust’s “Salut, demuere, chaste et pure” offering a gorgeous ping on the high note on “presence” and an ensuing tingling decrescendo.
Ms. Waycott started with a gutsy “Cruda sorte” from L’Italiana.
Ms. Brzyski returned with Linda di Chamounix “O luce di quest’anima” and in the third round ended with “One Kiss” from Rimberg’s The New Moon.
Mr. Butler showed his vocal variety and language variety with Fedora’s “Amor, ti vieta” and ended with a wrenching Lensky’s Aria from Onegin.
Ms. Waycott gave us “Amour, viens aider ma faiblesse” from Samson et Dalila where her top and bottom both shone and the glissando before the repeat was delicious (she will be in the Washington National Opera in the chorus of the same work opening next weekend) and her final selection was Carmen’s “Sequidilla.”
It was a great night for opera in DC for sure.
– ALAN SAVADA of Washington, DC