No scenery, no props and no elaborate costumes accompanied Friday night's performance of "Cantare e Dolci."
A simple, elegant black Steinway and Sons grand piano, a dedicated accompanist and one singer graced the stage all at one time. Sound like a recital? In a sense it was.
Yet this was no shoddy "parents only" sort of affair. These opera stars brought their "A" game to the evening's performance.
Bios from the show include such achievements as roles in "Carmen," "Peter Pan," opera study abroad programs in Italy. Colorado State singer of the year Jane Burghardt was also present. Sound impressive? Well it was.
The floor seemed to shake beneath my feet as soprano Katie Yeager confidently belted out "Come scoglio" from "Cosi fan tutte." Perfection describes her voice. Yeager drew the audience into her song, taking them along the whirlwind of emotions she and the composer of the piece must have felt.
In contrast to Yeager's performance, soprano Nichelle Stewart gave a high-pitched rendition of "Saper vorreste" from "Un Ballo In Maschera." It was not a break-your-eardrum sort of high-pitched squeal but a beautiful robin-singing-outside-of-your-window serenade. Stewart beautifully pulled off the tra-la-la-la's and ha-ha-ha's that graced the song.
After approximately 17 students, graduate students and alumni had their moment in the spotlight, it was time for their mentors to strut their stuff. While there were some gems among the faculty performers, I enjoyed the students' performances much better.
The way they took the stage was more sparkling and glamorous. The students were hungry for it; they wanted to win the audience's hearts. Faculty members were more laid back in front of the crowd and seemed as if they were singing for a classroom rather than an audience.
But the students treated the evening as an audition, giving it their all, and singing with the thought, "you never know who might be in the audience this evening."
"Cantare e Dolci" concluded with a song from the upcoming "Cosi fan tutte" opera that will be performed Oct. 20 and 21 at CSU. "Cosi fan tutte" will be the first full length, Italian opera at CSU. The song performed at "Cantare e Dolci" was beautifully done and left me wondering when I could pick up tickets to the event.
Whether you are an opera aficionado or a novice like myself, "Cantare e Dolci" provided an intimate and eclectic view into the world of opera. Whether I understood the words being sung or not, I nonetheless found myself sucked into the song, feeling the pain, the joy and even the sarcasm cleverly portrayed by CSU's finest opera singers. The opera is an excellent opportunity to experience opera and support CSU's theatre department.
I give it (4/5) music notes: