|Box Office at Jacobs Music Center (still under renovation but is open for business).|
|Richard Zeller, Robert Breault, Elizabeth DeShong, Measha Brueggergosman, Gary McKercher, Ken David Masur with San Diego Master Chorale and San Diego Symphony Orchestra.|
Baritone Richard Zeller clearly enjoyed his lines and they benefited handsomely from his voice. The star soloist of the evening had to be Robert Breault, though. I was quite amazed at how youthful he sounded and how supple his voice still is. He injected quite a bit of pitch-perfect bel canto and a whole lot of good nature pathos into his solo, and even managed to convince Maestro Masur and the orchestra to temper their tempo to avoid an acoustic train wreck.
I'm afraid I couldn't hear much of Elizabeth DeShong (but then I wasn't in a very acoustically favorable section of the house). Soprano Measha Brueggergosman proved quite eye-drawing (in a good way! She just sat in her seat with this exotic look and a Mona Lisa-ish smile on her face that was hard to look away from) even before she started any singing. When she did stand up and started sounding, though, her voice dominated the hall. The lass was loud... though quite uneven. This was the first time I heard her live and I quite liked the sweet middle part of her voice. Alas, Beethoven, when penning the soprano solo bit for this number, was more interested in the upper notes, and those from Brueggergosman were quite less sweet and at times downright shrieky (it didn't really help that she was much louder than everyone else whenever she was singing).
Another star of the evening was the impeccable San Diego Master Chorale. To be honest, this band is getting on my nerves a bit with their dependability. How are you supposed to criticize a chorus when they are always turning up on their A game??? The tenor section used to be the most vulnerable part of the choir, but they were just as spotlessly fantastic as the rest of the group were Saturday night.
All in all, the concert was a big success, and I think I wasn't the only audience member who was hoping for a Choral Fantasy as an encore when the show was over as we clapped the performers out for three rounds of curtain calls. (That's about as many as you're going to get here in San Diego. It's a strange town... We give easy standing O's, but we are also always in a hurry to get home and won't keep clapping for long).
PS: I didn't get rained on on the ride home either, but man, 5th Avenue can really use some repaving. It's no fun sprinting uphill on such a wavy pavement!