Two Ladies of Song | A Review of Ep. 1

On Tuesday October 11th, we were delighted to host two of Melbourne’s best young performers: Coloratura soprano Elizabeth Barrow and Mezzo soprano Shakira Tsindos for the first episode of the finals for The Talent.

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Both ladies sang an impressive collection of repertoire and were accompanied by Konrad Olszewski, recorded live from the Lady Marigold Southey Performance Studio.

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Elizabeth Barrow  was first to perform, captivating us with her strength of sound and soaring melodies. Her first piece was the Alleluia by Mozart. With one repeated lyric, the amount of variation and growth within this work is truly a testament to both the composer and the performer.

Following the Mozart, we were treated to Verdi’s Saper Vorreste from the opera Un ballo in maschera. Elizabeth managed to transport not only herself, but all of us in the studio to a grand ballroom in 19th Century Italy with this playful aria.

The Eliza Aria by Katz-Chernin, showed us many nuances in this young artist’s voice. A technically-demanding piece, this modern work requires conviction of phrasing and emotive techniques. As a piece without lyrics, one cannot convey their message as easily. There is truly something hauntingly beautiful about a wordless conversation.

Gounod’s Je Veux Vivre was a strong finish, Elizabeth managing to emulate Juliette’s excitement at her first waltz.

Elizabeth’s inspiration piece was Greta Bradman‘s rendition of Casta Diva by Bellini.

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Shakira Tsindos was the second performer on the episode, her intimate mezzo soprano voice full of colour and intrigue.

She performed four pieces, the first of which was Ombra mai fu from Handel’s Serses. This aria was a subdued and controlled example of the repertoire, one which demanded immense control.

Shakira then moved on to Gounod’s Faites-lui mes aveux. A truly captivating aria, bathing the listener in French grandeur, juxtaposed against sections of conflicting emotions.

Que fais-tu, blanche tourterelle followed, also by Gounod. The melodic contour of this piece was truly beautiful, highlighting the many nuances available in Shakira’s unique voice.

Must the Winter come so soon was an extreme contrast to both of the Gounod pieces. It is not an easy task to capture the listener with an English aria, however this was a sublime end to a fantastic set, brava Shakira!

Shakira’s inspiration piece was Morgen by Strauss, performed by Joyce DiDonato.

The podcast for this episode of The Talent is now available for download on iTunes or your podcasting app. We hope you tune in next week at 7pm to hear the next two finalists, Tenor Leighton Triplow and Flautist Alyse Faith.

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