Thunderclap & Rain, One Countertenor, One Tenor & One BaritoneMonday, November 13, 2006
A rainy Sunday afternoon is extra special when one doesn't feel guilty about doing anything except cooking for one's wife and two granddaughters. Yesterday was even better since I listened to baroque operas including Handel's Rinaldo , performed by the Academy of Ancient Music directed by Christopher Hogwood. The cast included Cecilia Bartoli and American countertenor David Daniels. Rebecca jumped from her seat (she was at my computer) when she suddenly heard loud thunder. It was raining but it didn't come from outside, even though it seemed it did. For Rinaldo, Handel wrote thunderclaps and storms into the score, as well as actual songbirds. The exremely realistic thunder that scared Rebecca, was provided by an 18th century thunder machine belonging to the Drottingham Court Theatre. As good as David Daniels is, we in Canada should not feel any particular jealousy as we have Montreal countertenor Matthew White (above) who visits and performs in Vancouver almost every year. It was in 2003 that both Rebecca and I saw our first baroque opera, Claudio Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea. It featured Matthew White and two other terrific Canadian singers, all seen here. Colin Balzer (right) is a tenor (in a pinch he has filled in for sick baritones) with amazing projection and diction (particularly in German). Balzer has an extra talent, not usual to young tenors. Since I last took this picture he has been losing so much weight that he has been buying suits and tuxedos as quickly as he can afford them. Tyler Duncan (left, and also quite slim) is a young Canadian baritone who lives in Germany. While I will be probably dead by the time Duncan is old enough and big enough to sing Wagner, I can assure you his German is perfect. He is also a good actor. Fortune has shined at him as he will be marrying Erika Switzer in December. Switzer (besides being beautiful and having perfect skin) is a fine pianist who often accompanies Duncan.