Sunday, January 10, 2016

Domingo & Martinez at the Lyric

Last evening the Lyric Opera of Chicago presented Placido Domingo, Ana Maria Martinez, and the Lyric Orchestra in concert to a packed house.  Though Domingo’s voice is not quite what it once was, he is still wonderful to see and hear, still touring and performing at 74 years old.  Martinez is well-known at the Lyric, and I had the good fortune in recent years to catch her as Mimi in La Boheme (link) and at a Stars of the Lyric late-summer outdoor concert (link).  The concert was a bit subdued emotionally and at times a touch perfunctory, but the audience loved it.  Special was the beautiful baritone-soprano duet from La Traviata, where the thirty or so year difference between the singers perfectly matched the storyline.  Other highlights for me included the love duet from The Merry Widow and “Tonight” from West Side Story.  The Lyric Opera Orchestra performed a number of pieces alone, including the rousing overture from Verdi’s La forza del destino.              

Domingo’s solos included Lehar’s “Dein Ist Mein Ganzes Herz” and Torroba’s “Amor, Vida De Mi Vida”, both of which he sang long ago in Three Tenors concerts, and arias from Andrea Chenier and Macbeth.  Martinez’s program included an aria from Ernani and “If I Loved You” from Carousel.  They concluded their encore set with a pleasant surprise, at least to me – a two-part rendering of the De Curtis Neapolitan song “Non Ti Scordar di Me,” which is as moving and melodic as the composer’s much more well-known “Torna a Surriento.”  The city is fortunate to have the Lyric.  In all a wonderful way to spend a cold winter evening in Chicago.

R Balsamo

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