Union Avenue Opera Theatre's Opera Chorus Gala has become an annual event, and Saturday evening at Union Avenue Christian Church, the company presented its best ever.

A superbly prepared chorus sang opera-chorus numbers from Purcell, Mozart, Verdi, Tchaikovsky, and Gilbert and Sullivan. Opera arias and duettos were performed by the likes of soprano Mary Wilson, Margaret Schelin Campbell (what gorgeous posture! Soloists, take note — that's the way to stand before an audience) and Victoria Carmichael; mezzos Deborah Good Stinson and the seriously sexy Heather McDuffee; tenor Tracy Baker; and baritones Mark Kent and Chester Pidduck, all in top form.

The evening's highlights (for me) were the choruses "Zeffiretti lusinghieri" from Idomeneo, a stirring "Vedi! le fosche notturne spoglie" (a.k.a. the Anvil Chorus) from Il Trovatore, and an unbelievably rich "No More Fly My Feet o'er Wood and World," from Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin, an impressive folksonglike solo and response between tenor Baker and the chorus.

Wilson knocked me out with her "No Word from Tom" from Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress; Stinson's "Stride la vampa," from Il Trovatore, was shivery; and McDuffee's "What a Movie!", from Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti, could have set Union Avenue Christian Church on fire.

Marcia Hansen and Alla Voskoboynikova provided excellent accompaniment, and Scott Schoonover, UAOT's extremely talented founder and music director, conducted. Hey, you guys! Bravissimo!

Scroll to read more Arts Stories & Interviews articles (1)
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Riverfront Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.