Last night’s Atelier S recital, ‘Allerseelen’ was disturbing. In the best sense of the word.
The recital’s theme ‘Allerseelen’ (German) – translated into All Souls’ Day – made for a program that showcased songs of longing, desperate and despised love, and mourning, with Fate as a darkly comic force (Fate as the ultimate buzzkill). The powerhouse voices of Martha Spence (mezzo-soprano), Patrick Huang (tenor) and Stuart Graham (baritone) were supported nicely by special guests Michael Rose (piano) and Christopher Jääskeläinen (violin). A bit of a comic opening to the evening’s festivities when Stuart came out to tell the audience that they’d be starting a bit late, as Christopher had forgotten his shirt. I couldn’t see why he couldn’t have gone skins, but that was just me I guess.
Program stand-outs for me were Stuart’s performance of “Sudyba” (Rachmaninoff) – Fate comes knocking and spoils everyone’s good time; Martha’s Charlotte in the letter scene from Werther (Massenet); and Patrick’s performance of “Fuor del mar” from Idomeneo (Mozart). Powerful performances and impressive vocal prowess.
If you ever have a chance to see an Atelier S recital or workshop, I highly recommend getting out to see them. Check them out at: http://atelier-s.org/