by Paula Citron
The Luna Opera Gala at the Luminato Festival featured ten Canadian stars in a rich evening of the old and the new.
Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky came and conquered. American-born, she is the leading international Verdian who now calls Toronto home, yet she never sings here. The crowd went crazy for her formidable range, woody-honey voice and impassioned singing. The other big stars – soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, tenor Richard Margison and baritone Russell Braun – also covered themselves in glory.
Fresh from her win at the Montreal vocal competition, soprano Marianne Fiset displayed a very intriguing voice – lustrous and a bit small, but with power to come. Soprano Joni Henson is a great Wagnerian in the making, while tenor Joseph Kaiser will burn up the lyric repertoire. Baritone Peter Barrett, and basses Robert Pomakov and Robert Gleadow displayed great talent at the lower end of the scale.
Danish-based conductor Giordano Bellincampi showed a tendency to bombast but was also very sensitive to the singers.
From Roy Thomson Hall, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.