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BWW Review: LA OPERA LIVING ROOM RECITAL BY Latonia Moore

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LA Opera's "Living Room Recital" by soprano Latonia Moore and pianist Roberto Berrocal is available for streaming on the opera's website.

BWW Review: LA OPERA LIVING ROOM RECITAL BY Latonia Moore

LA Opera's "Living Room Recital" by soprano Latonia Moore and pianist Roberto Berrocal is available for streaming on the opera's website. Wearing a long green gown with a draped skirt and sparkling jewels at her décolletage, Moore opened her program with Tatiana's Letter Scene from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's opera, Eugene Onegin. Moore immediately became the character of the young, naive Tatiana who had led a totally protected life away from the city. Moore's Tatiana was fascinated by the visit of the worldly Onegin, and became infatuated with him. The excitement could be heard in her singing as she wrote the love letter to this man who seemed to fulfill her dream of a perfect mate. Moore's rendition had silvery high notes and wonderfully resonant low chest tones. Berrocal offered a virtuosic interpretation of composer's extremely difficult piano part.

Continuing in Russian, a language and a musical culture she loves immensely, Moore presented four of the six songs which make up Sergei Rachmaninoff's op. 38. For "In My Garden at Night" she described the evening and listeners could almost feel the coolness of a breeze blowing softly after sundown. In "To Her," Moore sang wistfully of a lover calling to a sweetheart who did not answer. "Daisies" spoke of the abundance of the radiant, silken white flowers in spring as Moore's character greeted them with pure delight. In the song's final moments, pianist Berrocal's incandescent trills showed what a worthy collaborator he is.

The last song of Op. 38, "A-Oo!" requires the singer to contend with an impressively complex piano line played by a virtuoso pianist. Both Moore and Berrocal were at their best here, where superior musicianship was demanded of them. Moore's voice came through Rachmaninov's monumental sound tapestry with glorious golden tones.

An aria from Giacomo Puccini's second opera, Edgar, "D'ogni dolor... nel villaggio d'Edgar" ("Of every sadness....in Edgar's village") is a novelty for most audiences. For Moore it was a return to a piece she has loved since her school days. Her flexible voice soared on silver wings above the plangent sound of Berrocal's piano. Moore continued her recital with two songs by American composer Wintter Watts who lived from 1884 to1962. Sara Teasdale wrote the poems for both "Stresa" and "Joy." Moore set a dream like ambiance for the lake-side beauty reflected in "Stresa" which is a part of the cycle Vignettes of Italy. In "Joy," the performer's character rejoiced in the ebullient sentiments of requited love singing, "He is mine."

Moore crowned this basket of gorgeous sound with an a cappella performance of the Spiritual "Soon I Will Be Done with the Troubles of the World." The song was a cogent reminder of the condition of the Black people who helped build this country when the only thing they had to look forward to was a better place after death. That song brought tears to more than a few eyes. Recorded live for us in the pleasant acoustics of St. Peter's Church of Miami, Florida, this is a streamed recital not to be missed.



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