Friday, June 17, 2011

Anna Leese Steals Show in Opera Holland Park "L'Amico Fritz"

"As Fritz, Eric Margiore sometimes feels underpowered, although his voice is pleasing enough in tone. His handsome, innocent features make us warm to the character instantly, although there is something two-dimensional about his emotions, so that we never really get behind his reasons for rejecting marriage so vehemently. Overall, Margiore proves a competent rather than brilliant actor, and too many of his gestures verge on the melodramatic when it should be the music’s job to hint at what the character is truly feeling. David Stephenson proves a sturdy and effective Rabbi, while Patricia Orr is an all understanding Beppe. The Opera Holland Park Chorus contributes some beautiful off-stage singing, but it is Anna Leese’s Suzel that steals the night. Like the cherries she sings of, at their perfect moment of ripeness, her voice is sweet, rich, succulent and a sheer joy to experience. She also proves a fine actor as she conveys by turns innocence, tenderness, irritation, fear, sadness and ultimately love. The chemistry between her and Margiore is sometimes lacking, but the vocal performances of both ensure that the ‘Cherry Duet’ prevails handsomely." [Source]

Listen to excerpts of Anna Leese in her Debut Recital released on EMI in 2008, by clicking here. The recording features works of Manuel De Falla, Richard Strauss, Johannes Brahms, Herbert Hughes, Hubert Parry, Arthur Somervell, Herbert Howells and Peter Warlock.

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