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SF Opera Refrain Celebrates Ian Robertson



Ian Robertson_photo Matthew Washburn_4S2A0655* Notes * 

The San Francisco Opera Refrain is sending off its Refrain Director Ian Robertson (pictured with the refrain, {photograph} by Matthew Washburn) with two sold-out live shows on the Atrium Theater this weekend. Robertson is ending his distinguished 35-season tenure with these performances, which he’s conducting.

Saturday night’s efficiency started with Affiliate Refrain Grasp Fabrizio Corona enjoying a processional on the piano because the refrain members filed in and took their locations. The primary half of the live performance included a lot from the usual choral repertoire starting with choices from Charpentier’s Te Deum.

It was downright spectacular and even considerably alarming being in such an intimate area with this completed refrain. The quantity of sound the singers produce has such a visceral impact, and having them entrance and heart is a pleasure. Robertson launched items as we went alongside, he is personable and his reflections on the works was most welcome.

I beloved listening to Bach’s “Wohl mir, daß ich Jesum habe,” the chorale from Cantata BWV 147 sung so harmoniously, a far cry from what the piece appeared like once I performed it in my highschool orchestra. This was adopted by “Limitless Pleasure” from Händel’s Semele, Mozart’s “Placido è il mar” from Idomeneo, and Mozart’s “Heil sie euch Geweihten” from Die Zauberflöte. All of this was really attractive, a few of my favorites, and the soloists from the refrain are unbelievable. Plenty of good clear singing.

Subsequent we heard choruses from operas by Donizetti, Puccini, and naturally Verdi. The agility of the singers is putting, so fleet and lightweight for Donizetti, meditative for Puccini’s Buzzing Refrain, and pure and resonant for Verdi’s “Va, pensiero.”

Fabrizio Corona and Ian Robertson_photo Matthew Washburn_4S2A0711The second half of the night time showcased extra uncommon items, beginning with some humorous choices from Offenbach’s La belle Hélène. “Marche de l’oie” (“March of the goose”) was significantly pleasant. Low voices had been highlighted in Jennifer Higdon’s Act II Refrain for the Lifeless Troopers from Chilly Mountain, whereas larger voices had been within the foreground for Two Mountain Songs by Gabriela Lena Frank. I am fairly curious to listen to Higdon’s full opera sometime, this refrain is admittedly pretty and Frank’s layered, evocative work can also be intriguing. “Envuelto por el Viento” has a bit of singers buzzing, one other doing whispery echoes, and the final third truly singing.

There was even a world premiere commissioned by San Francisco Opera in honor of Robertson, entitled Invitation to Love by Oakland-based artist Cava Menzies. The textual content is a poem from Paul Laurence Dunbar, and the piece confirmed off how cohesive the ensemble is.

The efficiency ended (ovation pictured, {photograph} by Matthew Washburn) with the optimistic “Make our backyard develop” from Bernstein’s Candide, a really cheerful and nice finale certainly.

* Tattling * 
The primary rows of the Atrium Theater had been blocked off, presumably as a part of Covid security protocols. The venue solely holds 320 individuals at most, so this positively made tickets arduous to return by.

There was some quiet commentary behind me, however largely reactions to the singing, so it did not hassle me a lot. An individual on this similar row reacted very badly (and considerably extra loudly) nevertheless to the lady subsequent to him making an attempt to take an image of Ian Robertson through the efficiency, and he was capable of change seats after intermission.

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