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5.11.09

Susanna Phillips: Superlative

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Read my review today on the Washington Post Web site:

Charles T. Downey, Soprano Phillips: languid legato
Washington Post, November 5, 2009


Susanna Phillips, soprano (photo by Ken Howard)
Soprano Susanna Phillips, in the area to perform with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra this weekend, gave an exceptionally beautiful recital on Tuesday night in the auditorium of Alexandria's Bishop Ireton High School. Those in attendance received a preview of the delectable program of songs Phillips will present later this month at the Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. Even better, the proceeds went to support the creation of a summer music camp for the students of Mount Vernon Woods Elementary School.

Phillips has a charming stage presence in operatic roles, but her greatest strength may be as a singer of lieder. As in her Vocal Arts Society recital in 2007, Phillips sang with a tone of consummate beauty, strength and consistency, a voice suited more to the spinning out of flowing legato line than to pyrotechnical acrobatics. In songs like "Adieu," part of a languid Fauré set, she savored the unctuous flow of the melody wrapped around the poetry, even when high notes coincided with unstressed syllables. The song's long final high note hovered in the air without any sign of flagging breath support, until it gradually vanished. [Continue reading]
Susanna Phillips (soprano) and Craig Terry (piano)
Bishop Ireton High School (Alexandria, Va.)

Previously on Ionarts:
Don Giovanni (Santa Fe Opera, 2009) | Le Nozze di Figaro (Santa Fe Opera, 2008) | Recital with Wolfgang Holzmair (Vocal Arts Society, 2007)

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