Sunday, January 23, 2011

Frederica Von Stade Triumphant In Final Stage Performances

Von Stade in Dead Man Walking at HGO 
"Von Stade is giving her farewell performances as Mrs. De Rocher and no one could act or sing the part more movingly. Her warm, lovely mezzo expresses the character's pain and fragility with simplicity and grace. She is wrenching and unforgettable pleading with the parole board for her son's life and, later, saying goodbye with a memory of him as an innocent boy." [Source]

More of the review for Dead Man Walking presented by Houston Grand Opera after the jump.

"HGO has invested the nightmarish subject matter with a dream production and, especially, a dream cast. That's not surprising, since many key talents are returning to the work; time seems only to have deepened their commitment. The masterful conducting is by HGO musical director Patrick Summers, who conducted the 2000 premiere. Also returning from that production is the beloved Frederica von Stade, heartbreaking as the condemned man's mother, the role she originated. Director Leonard Foglia is re-creating his fluid and potent production seen at New York City Opera in 2002. Most crucially of all, Joyce DiDonato returns to her NYCO role as Sister Helen and her life-changing portrayal proves an absolute revelation. None of this is meant to slight Philip Cutlip's superb work in his role as convicted murderer Joseph De Rocher, a "monster" struggling to find his soul." [Source]

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