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18.5.11

Paul Appleby, Sweet and Loud

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Read my review published today in the Style section of the Washington Post:

Charles T. Downey, Tenor Paul Appleby hits rough territory in Vocal Arts D.C.’s season finale
Washington Post, May 18, 2011

What a song recitalist sings can be just as important as how it is sung. A case in point was the final recital of the Vocal Arts D.C. season Monday night, which reunited tenor Paul Appleby with pianist and song programming guru Steven Blier. Appleby, familiar to local audiences from his apprenticeship at the Wolf Trap Opera Company, performed a program in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater that showcased his sweet, ringing voice and his showmanship, for better or worse.

Appleby attacked a set of mostly forgettable Italian serenades by Verdi, Mascagni and Pedrotti, with a well-studied sound that became almost a parody of its own stereotypes, all ardent, sobbing tone and scooped attacks. For most of this varied program, he applied the heroic side of his voice, which could command considerable power, with judicious care.

In the second set, though, four intriguing songs by Alexander Zemlinsky sent Appleby’s voice into unpleasant territory; he misjudged the musical style, simply hurling as much sound at them as he could in a way that was more hollering than lyrical. [Continue reading]
Paul Appleby (tenor) and Steven Blier (piano)
Vocal Arts D.C.
Kennedy Center Terrace Theater

PREVIOUS REVIEW:
July 2010

The 2011-2012 season from Vocal Arts D.C. will include recitals by Eric Owen (September 10), Mathias Hausmann (October 12), the New York Festival of Song with tenor Paul Appleby and others (October 22), Lydia Teuscher (January 26), Florian Boesch (February 15), Anna Caterina Antonacci (April 11), and Gidon Saks (May 30). Performances will be held at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater or at George Washington University's Marvin Center Theater.

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