I love singers and what they do, God bless them. Here are some links to news profiles of some singers who are a little off the beaten path. George Loomis wrote an interesting profile of up-and-coming tenor Rolando Villazón, who is often cited (as much as such predictions are worth) as Domingo's heir (New star tenor is on the rise, October 5) in the International Herald Tribune. Loomis has most of the standard assessments of Villazón, summed up with admirable understatement in a review of his Rodolfo in the Paris production of La Bohème this month as "a radiant voice and not bad to look at either." (Villazón and his wife make their home in Paris, which means that he is naturally my kind of person.) However, Loomis ends with this tidbit of information:
In 2009 at the Los Angeles Opera he will sing in "Il Postino," a new opera by the Mexican composer Daniel Catán, based on the novel by Antonio Skarmeta and Michael Radford's later film. Villazón will be Mario, the personal mailman of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, to whom Mario develops a deep devotion. Domingo will sing Neruda. "That's a performance I am really looking forward to," Villazón said.Um, yes, I imagine so. Can you say passing the torch? From the tenor to something completely different. Former choirboy Aled Jones found three talented boy choristers in schools around Great Britain recently and led them to form a group called The Choirboys. He describes them as a young version of the Three Tenors, and as related by the BBC News, they have just received a huge advance in a big record deal (Choirboys land £500k record deal, September 3):
CJ Porter-Thaw, 11, and Patrick Aspbury, 12, were both members of the choir at the King's School in Ely, Cambridgeshire. Ben Inman, 12, was singing in the choir at state-run Minster School in Southwell, Nottinghamshire. "Choir schools are a special world and they have been struggling to keep boys coming through the doors in the age of the PlayStation," said Universal Classics general manager Dickon Stainer. "We think this group will have a huge impact on people's perceptions of choristers and choir schools. We think they will reach the pop charts." The three boys have swapped their cassocks for designer suits. And they say they are all keen football fans and like rock music, particularly Green Day.Finally, we end with English mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly, whom Ionarts has been tracking for some time. Edward Seckerson recently reviewed her recital (Sarah Connolly, St John's, Smith Square, London, October 6) for The Independent:
St John's is a big space, but it embraces the voice at all dynamics. Connolly's Brahms set illustrated that - the sheer sound, the way the voice so naturally wraps around the lines, was lovely. One could warm to her simple inflection of the wistful "Du unten im Tale" ("Down there in the valley") and the tender "Die Mainacht" ("May Night"). Yet I never felt truly "connected". Could it be that Connolly needs the added dimension of a living "character"? The dialogue in the Brahms song "Of Eternal Love" was certainly brought into sharp relief.I hope I get the chance to hear her live soon, hopefully in an opera.