Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.
(photo credit: Sasson Tiram)
As a substitute for the advertised Donizetti opera Lucia di Lammermoor, American
tenor Bryan Hymel, Romanian baritone Ionut Pascu and Israeli mezzosoprano Naama
Goldman, in the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra’s opera selection concert last
week, were no cause for disappointment.
On the contrary.
a lyric tenor par excellence. His voice sounds not only soft and caressing, but
also intensely expressive and emotionally moving. He knows perfectly well how to
savor a climactic high note, letting it swell gradually, and prolonging it
almost imperceptibly to let its impression take effect before allowing it to
descend again to the lower registers.
This combination of sheer vocal
beauty, conscientious voice culture and awareness of the text’s significance
made his Cavaradossi’s aria “E lucevan le stelle” from Puccini’s Tosca, Don
Jose’s Flower Aria from Bizet’s Carmen, and his aria from Turandot, rare
His rendition of Don Jose’s final duet with Carmen
was the concert’s breathtaking highlight, conveying desperation without becoming
Pascu’s dark-timbered, immensely appealing baritone
profoundly expressed Rigoletto’s grief in Verdi’s aria.
pale mezzo-soprano still sounds too weak for the strongwilled character of
More melodramatic than dramatic, and more artificial than
artistic, she appears to possess the potential to eventually grow into this
Under Frederic Chaslin’s inspired direction the orchestra
sounded energetic and enjoyably flexible, and abounding in instrumental soli
that were polished with loving care.
Any resemblance of the printed
program to the performed pieces was entirely coincidental.