sábado, 16 de agosto de 2014

Ailyn Pérez / Stephen Costello LOVE DUETS

The U.S. duo of soprano Ailyn Pérez and tenor Stephen Costello has garnered considerable publicity in its home country, and now with this new collaboration with the venerable BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, they seem poised to gain a round of admirers across the Atlantic as well. Opera cognoscenti may conclude that their success is due in large part to having the field to themselves right now: opera companies and symphonic programmers, like those in the folk field who roll over and put their hands in the air for the Swell Season and the Civil Wars, can't resist the spectacle of a husband-and-wife team who seem to be experiencing the emotions they sing about. Pérez's voice for many will have a rather plummy quality, while Costello's tenor at times plows ahead with little regard to pitch. But the duo is canny in picking their music, and it's easy to see the appeal in spite of such objections. The album is dedicated to the memory of Richard Tucker, and the duo exploits the musical mix characteristic of that great American crowd-pleaser, combining verismo and semipopular material with musicals standing in for Tucker's beloved operetta. The whole thing seems to work, in spite of individual moments that don't stand up to scrutiny, and the BBC Philharmonic under Patrick Summers takes this kind of basic emotional appeal on its own terms. It's worth watching Pérez and Costello to see where they go next. (James Manheim)

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