New Amsterdam Opera and its Founder and Artistic Director, Keith Chambers, have been featured in these pages before. I've often stated I'm a big supporter of organizations that offer opportunities to young professional singers. The cast for Forza had singers still in the formative stages of their careers alongside veterans of the opera stage. The result was an evening with many exciting and electrifying vocal performances.
Photo: Arielle Doneson Photography
Fra Melitone lends comic relief to an intense story, and he was well embodied by Daniel Klein. Stefan Szkafarowsky gave Padre Guardiano dignity and wisdom. Metropolitan Opera veteran Robert Brubaker ably sang the peddler Trabuco. Japanese bass Hidenori Inoue gave exciting vocal quality to the old Marquis.
Even in the capable hands of Mr. Chambers, the pick-up orchestra seemed a bit ragged at times. The chorus, too, seemed somewhat ill prepared. Budgets being what they are, these shortcomings are understandable. Neither prevented me from enjoying the performance. It seems a shame there was only one performance, for I would surely recommend attending subsequent performances if there were any.