La Princesse leads Cégeste to the underworld -- Jonathan Blalock (Cégeste) and Heather Buck (La Princesse) in Orphée, Virginia Opera, 2012 (photo by David A. Beloff)
Glass, Orphée, P. Cutlip, L. Saffer,
Portland Opera, A. Manson
(released on July 20, 2010)
OMM 0068 | 101'49"
Much of this cast's magic is due to the regal presence, vocally and dramatically, of soprano Heather Buck as La Princesse. We last reviewed her as a venomous Queen of the Night in an odd Magic Flute at Santa Fe Opera, and the same icy strengths were assets here as the bewitching figure of death, both loving and terrifying. After the opening scene, in which Glass subordinated his trademark style to an evocation of bubbly jazz, the composer's stripped-down, static music returned to the score, making an elegant characterization of the tense dread of much of the story and especially of the alluring role of La Princesse. Buck was matched vocally by the robust baritone of Matthew Worth and strong, radiant soprano of Sara Jakubiak as Eurydice, and less so by the somewhat pale tenor of Jeffrey Lentz as the silver-haired chauffeur Heurtebise. The supporting cast was distinguished by able performances from the lead judge of Christopher Temporelli, the Poet of Matthew Burns, and the commissioner of Oliver Medina.
Anne Midgette, Virginia Opera presents Philip Glass’s ‘Orphee’ at George Mason University (Washington Post, February 13)
---, For Virginia opera lovers, it’s a whole new scene (Washington Post, February 4)
Alex Baker, Orphee at Virginia Opera (Wellsung, February 11)
Emily Cary, Matthew Worth sings Philip Glass' 'Orphee' (Washington Examiner, February 7)
Paul Sayegh, Va. Opera's 'Orphée' powerful, haunting (The Virginian-Pilot, January 31)
This production will be repeated tomorrow afternoon (February 12, 2 pm) at GMU, followed by two performances next weekend in Richmond (February 17 and 19). Virginia Opera has also announced its lineup for next season: Bizet's Pearl Fishers, Strauss's Die Fledermaus, Andre Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire, and Mozart's Marriage of Figaro.