14. September 2011 · Comments Off on Opera Critic Review · Categories: Opera, Reviews

I think you have to subscribe to read the whole thing, but here’s a snippet (you can get a free 7 day trial and read it all, which is what I just did.):

The opera is worthwhile, regardless, for a view of Mozart’s most ambitious production, including a decided emphasis on choruses and dance. The company takes full advantage of these elements. Andrew Whitfield’s chorus performs as robustly as I’ve ever heard them, particularly in the opening chorus, “Godiam la pace.” A 15-member dance troupe, meanwhile, performs rustic, athletic interludes – notably in the final coronation scene – choreographed by Ballet San Jose director Dennis Nahat.

It was interesting to see how some of OSJ’s now-familiar voices matched up with the opera’s roles. A perfect example is Sandra Bengochea, who should probably travel the world, seeking out chances to sing Ilia, surviving daughter of the fallen Troy. Ilia’s lilting, lyric lines are a perfect match for Bengochea, and I have never heard her sound more vibrant, particularly in Ilia’s third-act farewell to Idamante, “Zeffiretti lusinghieri.” She makes the most of her phrasing, notably in several beautifully shaped sustenatos, and sings with a relaxed optimism that matches Ilia’s resilient demeanor.

Link to review.

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