The lovely Canadian mezzo Wallis Giunta (right) who was a Neue Stimmen finalist a few years back, and who has been singing Annio in the COC Tito, took over the role of Sesto in Toronto on Thursday evening I gather. One critic who was there wrote:
"The greatest pleasure was the performance of Wallis Giunta as Sesto. On February 7, Isabel Leonard, who was to sing Sesto was indisposed. Giunta, who had been singing Annio, moved into the larger, central role of Sesto and Sasha Djihanian, the understudy for Annio took over that role. It was a triumph for Giunta. She has a delectably rich, silver-toned mezzo-soprano with a beautiful sense of line and effortless roulades. It’s difficult to choose which would have been her best aria, but her sensitive account of “Parto, parto, ma tu, ben mio” was outstanding in its combination of intelligence and beauty".
The writer in question hated the rest of the performance evidently, but at least he was right about Wallis!
Wallis, who is in the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann program, will be appearing in a concert in the German Embassy in Washington in April, organised by Bertelsmann and to celebrate Neue Stimmen. There will be three other Neue Stimmen finalists involved, two of which are also in the Met program. I will be writing about this in due course. I am to be the presenter/master of ceremonies........it will be a fun evening!
Photo: Barbara Stoneham