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What to Hear Next Season: Vocal Music

See my preview of the new season of vocal recitals at

Vocal Arts 2011-12 Season Preview (Washingtonian, June 27):

available at Amazon
Era la notte, A. C. Antonacci, Modo Antiquo, F. M. Sardelli
The difference between a song recital and opera is somewhat like the difference between reading a gripping novel and seeing the same novel made into a flashy movie: If you’re a book person, you may be a song recital person, too. In few other art forms can you hear a beautiful voice quite so close and concentrated on meaningful words in poetic form. Washingtonians who are adherents of the song recital, as well as those who might think they are, should know about the fine series of recitals presented by Vocal Arts DC.

From the seven recitals of the upcoming 2011-12 season, the three obvious top choices begin with the opening concert by bass-baritone Eric Owens (September 10), at George Washington University’s Marvin Center Theater. Owens has a smooth, puissant voice matched by an ease of musicality, which those who saw him in last year’s revival of Porgy and Bess at Washington National Opera will recall. Our other picks would be the incandescent Italian soprano Anna Caterina Antonacci (April 11) and the rakish bass-baritone Gidon Saks (May 30), both in the series’ regular venue, the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater. If you are really into song recitals, other concerts will be worth the full subscription: We’ve heard good things about baritone Mathias Hausmann (October 12), and if Graham Johnson believes in soprano Lydia Teuscher (January 26), then we’re all ears. [Continue reading]

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