And a very fine cast it was indeed. Headed by the Adina of Sharin Apostolou, the cast also included William Davenport as Nemorino, Trevor Scheunemann as Belcore and Stephen Eisenhard as Dulcamara. Ms. Apostolou and Mr. Scheunemann were the two standouts in the cast. I've
Courtesy Columbia Artists Mgt.
Stephen Eisenhard has the goods as a basso buffo, handling Dulcamara's rapid-fire patter with ease and showing a comic flair. Kimberly Christie shows great promise in her debut role as Gianetta.
It sometimes seemed as if the cast were eager to do more with their roles, but felt limited. The same cast performs L'Elisir, fully staged, at Opera Delaware on October 11 and 13, and I was not surprised to learn they had been in staging rehearsals in Wilmington all week. Alternating between the Baltimore version and the Wilmington version--surely as a concert performance, Baltimore had cuts Wilmington doesn't--could explain the occasional ragged feel in terms of cues and continuity.
Complaints? One or two. When the chorus sang, it was hard to distinguish the soloists' vocal lines, which is not surprising considering physical placement of the chorus. Occasionally the 88-key orchestra (overall very well done by James Harp--especially his commentary on the love potion of Queen Isolde) overpowered the singers, too. Along with difficult to read supertitles, these are mere quibbles. I call this a fine performance, and I look forward to seeing the staged production at Opera Delaware. I recommend you do the same.