Tara Erraught’s Opera Gala on the 14th of July at the National Concert Hall was presented by the ever delightful Liz Nolan (broadcaster on RTÉ Lyric FM) and accompanied by RTÉ National Symphonic Orchestra directed by Gavin Maloney, who was substituting Ramón Tebar. The programme was (thankfully) a fully operatic one and covered arias from Meyerbeer, Reznicek, Gounod, Mozart, Bellini and Rossini.

The concert confirmed Erraught’s status of rising opera star. She just finished recording Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito in the role of Sesto with Joyce DiDonato and Rolando Villazón, while in September she will have her Metropolitan debut in the role of Nicklausse (Les contes d’Hoffman).

Apart from her beautiful voice, her distinctive quality on stage is undoubtedly her acting ability. Not only she does know by heart the lyrics of whatever aria she is singing, but obviously she understands them and she is able to convey the story to the audience with relevant gestures and facial expressions. Not least, her pronunciation of both French and Italian is faultless, which adds to the credibility of the performance.

With her voice and her now fully honed technical skills, Erraught can sing anything in the coloratura mezzo-soprano range and she never fails to impress the audience. Yet, she seems born to sing Italian belcanto roles and she shone in the arias by Bellini and Rossini. In particular, she is in her element while playing Rossini’s sunnier characters, so jibing with her bubbly personality. Meaningfully, her chosen encore was “Tanti affetti in un momento” from Rossini’s La Donna del Lago, presented with the words: “She [Elena] is on top of the world, like I am”.

The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra gave their best in the second part of the concert, and took visible pleasure in playing the Overture of Reznicek’s Donna Diana. The Orchestra was exceptionally performing today (23rd of July) in China’s prestigious National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, upon invitation of world renowned conductor and composer José Serebrier.


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