Sunday, May 22, 2011

Talk About Debbie Downer, Critics Need to Pay More Attention

As Deborah Voigt transitions from her performances of Die Walküre at the Metropolitan Opera to a concert of Broadway show-stoppers at Carnegie Hall, the music critic largely neglects another star on stage. Paulo Szot, who has sung at the MET and New York City Opera as well as off-Broadway in South Pacific, joined Ms. Voigt as a special guest for the performance. However, this is all the New York Times music critic decided to include about him in the review: "...the dashing baritone Paulo Szot was special guest and Ms. Voigt’s on-and-off singing partner."

Paulo Szot and Deborah Voigt getting down with Broadway classics (Photo: Julieta Cervantes/NYTimes)
And as for Ms. Voigt, this was the only kind thing he could find to say,"The problems began with the microphone. Ms. Voigt’s decision to use one throughout most of the program turned out to be an exercise in self-suppression. She muted her power to create a more informal, intimate attitude, making her voice sound ragged and occasionally uncertain, if still essentially operatic. Only when she dispensed with amplification to sing 'My Man’s Gone Now,' in a Porgy and Bess suite, did her magnificent sound unfurl in scorching tongues of fire."

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