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Aminta returns her love, and the two can hardly wait to be married. Agenor and Alexander believe that the humble shepherd Aminta is indeed the missing heir. So Agenor approaches Aminta and asks politely if Aminta would like to meet Alexander. In the witty, playful stage direction by Tara Faircloth, Alexander is depicted as quite the narcissist, forever having a hand-mirror at the ready to admire his countenance, smooth his hair, and tweak his mustache.
About the opera Il Re Pastore
Alexander is served by four men in suits, ties, and sun-glasses who look for all the world like American Secret Service agents assigned to guard the President. As Alexander, Zhengye Bai sang with fervor the Act I aria about his ability to calm every storm and win every battle.
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- Performances by same musician(s).
When the disguised Tamiri appears before Agenor, he quickly reassures her of his love. Tamiri is here sung by Canadian mezzo-soprano Simone McIntosh, who possesses a lush, full voice with enormous range. Her one big aria was a highlight of the show, and as the opera went on I kept hoping for another extended opportunity to hear Simone McIntosh sing. Sure enough, one arrived in Act II, when, outraged that Alexander has decreed that Tamiri shall wed Aminta and be his queen, she upbraids Agenor for failing to disabuse his boss of this notion.
When in reply Agenor calls her cruel, Tamiri asks incredulously how he can call her cruel when he has cruelly acquiesced in allowing Alexander to betroth her to Aminta? Agenor is non-plussed at this outburst from Tamiri; and when she departs in a huff Agenor launches into an aria full of pain and hurt.
Here Charles Sy almost literally chewed the scenery while pouring out his pain. He threw chairs, he dumped clothes on the floor, and he tore a bouquet of flowers to shreds and threw them all over the place. When he left the stage in a rage. So she took her fury out on Agenor. Singing like a spitfire, Elise berates Agenor and literally ties him up and gags him with a hankerchief over his mouth.
As Elise, Patricia Westley really did herself proud in this aria. This is a great performance. It has a very sumptuous look to it, with beautiful settings and costumes, and the clear picture quality and camera work makes it even more so.
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- Mozart Opera Arias: Soprano.
- Il rè pastore, K.208 (Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus);
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The orchestra are superb as well, with a sound that matches the beauty and lyricalism of Mozart's score, and Sir Neville Mariner's, one of the better conductors for Mozart in my view, conducting is sensitive yet stylish conducting. I can't fault the performances either. Iris Vermillon and Claes H. Ahnsjo also sing wonderfully. Jerry Hadley is mostly very effective as Alessandro with a very good voice and a presence that doesn't suffer from being to static, if not as technically perfect as I had known him to be due to moments of sloppy colouratura. All in all, a more than worthwhile production of an early Mozart opera.
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Classical Music | Soprano
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MUSIC: TUNING UP/'IL RE PASTORE'; Mozart at Opera Grand And Pastoral - The New York Times
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