Silver-sweet songs of love

Concert: Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis will present a program of opera and Broadway music intended to touch the heart.

Arundel Live

October 02, 2003|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

"How silver-sweet sound lovers' tongues by night, like softest music to attending ears," says Romeo in Act II of Shakespeare's ultimate love tragedy.

That silver sweetness will reverberate in the lofty space of Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis this weekend when coloratura soprano Kathleen Kinhan, tenor Vincent Tulli Chambers and baritone Joseph Specter visit the lovely church for a program of vocal music, "Love Songs Through the Ages."

"Music in general touches people on a visceral level," says Tulli Chambers, who has sung with New York's Dicapo, Amato and Regina opera companies.

"The reaction is instantaneous. Your hear poetry and maybe a day later you're still processing the words, checking to see if they had an impact on you. Listen to a Puccini love duet, though, and bang, you're getting it right then and there."

The "attending ears" at the recital scheduled for Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon will be treated to some of the most ardently presented music ever composed.

Several selections from the operas of Donizetti will be performed, most notably the meltingly melodic tenor aria "Una furtiva lagrima," which Tulli Chambers has selected from the opera L'elisir d'amore.

Other treats from the opera stage are "O soave fanciulla," the soaring love duet from Puccini's La Boheme, "Caro nome," the soprano's hyperactive declaration of love from Verdi's Rigoletto, and the most sumptuous tenor-baritone duet of all, "Au fond du temple saint" from Bizet's The Pearlfishers.

Mixed in with all of this lovestruck operatic fare will be classic Broadway tunes by Cole Porter and Stephen Sondheim, plus sets of songs by Lerner and Loewe and Gilbert and Sullivan in which the soloists will be assisted by members of the Unitarian Church Choir.

This entertainment has a strong local connection. Chris Nielsen of Annapolis, a member of the local Unitarian Church, is the mother of Specter, a graduate of Boston's New England Conservatory who is doing advanced study at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.

Adding to the family atmosphere, Kinhan is Specter's fiancee.

This weekend's concerts will be encores for Specter and Tulli Chambers, who have been close colleagues since their days as apprentices with Florida's Sarasota Opera Company.

They sang at the Unitarian Church in February 2001, a performance many in the community remember.

"That concert really did something to the audience," Tulli Chambers recalls.

"Most people don't get to see opera singers up close and hear these songs in such an intimate setting, and they really seemed to love it. We're thrilled to be here again, this time with three voices singing such incredible music.

"Some may think of opera as a stuffy art form, but when it's this close and this casual, the music isn't only beautiful, it's fun."

Kinhan, Tulli Chambers and Specter will appear in concert with pianist Martin Bejerano at Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis at 8 p.m. Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20 at the door.

The church is at 333 Dubois Road, just off Bestgate Road in Annapolis. For directions, see the church's Web site at www.uuca-md.org. Information: 410-849-3611.

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