Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Sondra Radvanovsky & Jamie Barton: Opera Rivalry And Friendship

Donizetti Darlings: Jamie Barton (left) and Sondra Radvanovsky take on historical figures at the Lyric Opera of Chicago starting December 6, 2014. (Photo: Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)
"On a recent afternoon backstage at Lyric Opera, Sondra Radvanovsky and Jamie Barton were behaving like the gal pals they are, hugging each other and singing each other's praises. Quite the contrast to the emotional sparring partners the singers are playing in Lyric's new production of Gaetano Donizetti's Anna Bolena — the castoff consort Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour, Anne's lady-in-waiting and rival for the affections of the cruel King Henry VIII. Indeed, in conversation, neither the Berwyn-born soprano nor the Georgia-native mezzo-soprano came across as your standard-issue diva, however imperious they behave in the long-awaited Lyric return of Donizetti's bel canto masterpiece, which opens Saturday night at the Civic Opera House. 'It's fun
Sondra Radvanovsky as Anna Bolena
(Photo: Todd Rosenberg/Lyric Opera of Chicago)
and exciting when we put our voices together,' said Radvanovsky, who's familiar to Lyric audiences for her portrayals of the big Verdi soprano roles, and who's lately been enhancing her star status in the bel canto repertory as well. 'Yes, it's fascinating how well our voices blend,' agreed Barton, a singer whose stellar promise Lyric has nurtured in various supporting roles since her company debut in 2011. The sublime beauty of classically trained voices intertwining in soaring melodic arcs is one of the hallmarks of bel canto opera, of which Anna Bolena (1830), Donizetti's first big international success, is a shining example." Read the full interview and see lots of rehearsal photos by clicking here. Lyric Opera's production of Donizetti's Anna Bolena opens at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and continues through Jan. 16 at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive; $34-$244; $20-$40 children; 312-827-5600, [Source] One more production photo after the jump.

Bryan Hymel as Percy with Sondra Radvanovsky as Anna Bolena 
(Photo: Todd Rosenberg/Lyric Opera of Chicago)

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