A night of opera highlights

Concert: Three soloists will join the Pro Cantare Chorus in a program that will include the works of Verdi, Puccini and many others.

April 29, 1999|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

"The opera is to music what a bawdy house is to a cathedral," wrote the inimitable H. L. Mencken in 1925.

Assuring that its season-ending concert will be full of juicy singing and licentious musical fun, Columbia's Pro Cantare Chorus, Howard County's premier choral organization, will present an evening of opera highlights at 8 p.m. tomorrow at Jim Rouse Theatre for the Performing Arts.

The chorus will be joined by its orchestra and by three gifted soloists who have become well-known to local audiences.

Soprano Kishna Davis, a graduate of Hammond High School, has thrilled Maryland with the expressive power of her artistry. Her recent performances with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra in Leonard Bernstein's "Jeremiah" Symphony and in ASO conductor Leslie Dunner's "Motherless Child Songs" reconfirmed that she is truly a singer with a future.

Davis will be joined by tenor Charles Reid, a native Texan who scored great critical success at the University of Maryland's Handel Festival last summer, and by Lester Lynch, a strong baritone who was a George London Foundation award winner last year.

Tomorrow's audience can expect an evening of dazzling arias, duets, choruses and overtures culled from some of the greatest operas ever written.

Davis and Reid will be joined by the chorus for "Libiamo!" -- the famous drinking song from Verdi's "La Traviata."

Donizetti's "Una furtiva lagrima," the "Toreador Song" from Bizet's "Carmen," Musetta's Waltz from Puccini's "La Boheme," and the sumptuous tenor-baritone duet "Au fond du temple saint" from Bizet's "Pearl Fishers" are but a few of the other highlights.

The choir will be featured in the sublime "Easter Hymn" from Mascagni's "Cavalleria Rusticana" and the popular "Anvil Chorus" from Verdi's "Il Trovatore."

The orchestra will take the spotlight for the Overture to Mozart's "Magic Flute" and the thumping, exotic "Polovtsian Dances" from Alexander Borodin's "Prince Igor."

And if the emotions should fly, and the studied air of dispassionate rationality seem in short supply tomorrow night, well, how could it be otherwise? "No good opera plot can be sensible," said the poet W. H. Auden, "for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible."

Information: 410-465-5744.

Pub Date: 4/29/99

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