reviewed by Paula Citron
La donna del lago
Opera in Concert
Composed by Giaochino Rossini
Music direction and piano accompaniment by Alison d’Amato
Starring Virginia Hatfield, Amanda Jones, Paul Williamson, Graham Thomson and Gene Wu (with Gregory Finney, Alexandra LeBlanc and Stefan Fehr)
At the Jane Mallett Theatre
Opera in Concert had to stretch its wings to mount Rossini’s La donna del lago, but the company pulled it off.
Music director and pianist Alison d’Amato found nuance in Rossini and not just crescendo. Chorus director Robert Cooper put together a lovely women’s group. The men were not quite as balanced.
Soprano Virginia Hatfield as Elena showed the beautiful, even, graceful lyric voice she is known for. Mezzo-soprano Amanda Jones as Malcolm brought down the house with her ravishing coloratura, and she grew in expression.
Italianate tenor Paul Williamson as King James had a sometimes shaky top but his passionate singing comes from the heart. Tenor Graham Thomson as Rodrigo has a pleasant light lyric sound in the middle but at this point, his high notes are shrill and unpleasant. Baritone Gene Wu as Douglas displays a rich fulsome sound that can take him far.
Among the comprimario roles, Alexandra LeBlanc as Albina seems one to watch with a bright, bell-like sound.