Ekaterina Metlova(Carmen) and Richard Troxell (Don José)
The Carmen production's opening, postponed from Saturday evening owing to Friday's storm, took place yesterday afternoon and is a great achievement for Castleton. There were extremely powerful performances from Richard Troxell and Ekaterina Metlova. And the outstanding performances from the very gifted young Canadian Sasha Djihanian-Archambault as Micaela, and Corey Crider as Escamillo gave great pleasure.(I am sorry some links are to French sites - best I could find!)
Sasha will be joining the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble next season. She is lucky to be there and they are very fortunate to have her. This is the beginning of what promises to be a significant career. A really gorgeous voice is a winner, and this she has, and a lot more besides.
Corey of course was at the the Lyric Opera of Chicago's Ryan Center, so is well known to my Chicago readers. He goes from strength to strength, singing and assuming the role of Escamillo with the greatest assurance. He returns to Lyric in November as Malatesta in their Don Pasquale. He will be splendid.
Lorin Maazel elicits outstanding playing from his wonderful youthful orchestra. And his deep knowlege and appreciation of this score, which he must have visited hundreds of times over his long career, really drives the ultimate success of this production. His distinguished recordings with Moffo and Corelli, and with Domingo and Migenes Johnson, remain the benchmarks. For these young singers to have this master leading them through this production is a huge privilege.
Meanwhile I have been starting my "Career Prep" classes with a two hour session on Tuesday and another yesterday evening. They are proving hard to schedule given the pressure of the general activities. But the singers coming to them appear be fresh in spite of all their labors. We are doing mock auditions and discussing the vicissitudes of embarking on the career of an opera singer. I am hoping that I can give them some insights, some general guidance, and some individual advice about all the considerations as they start out on this hazardous path! I have another two sessions today, and I hope that we can fit them all in before I leave here in seven days time.
This afternoon there swill be the final rehearsal of the concert version of La Bohème which will be given in Manassas on Saturday evening. I will be there today, but not on Saturday.