Camera, The (Boulder, CO)
Mason has been dreaming of performing "Evidence
of Things Not Seen" locally since he and colleague Julie Simson
heard the cycle at Utah`s Moab Music Festival several summers ago.
Mezzo-soprano Rena Pyland manages to capture a definite air of masculinity in the "trouser" role of the page Cherubino—a masculinity that even shines through the scenes where Cherubino is dressed as a girl. Her Act I aria has just the right level of barely restrained excitement, and her humorous interactions with the other characters are among the highlights.
The other female romantic lead, the more flighty Dorabella, is sung by Rena Pyland. Her challenges are no less real, including a tricky light, quick aria in the first act, which Pyland negotiates admirably.
The casts for both productions include singers familiar to CU Opera audiences. In the German production, Sara Gartland and Rena Pyland will play Gretel and Hansel. Gartland has had major, well-reviewed roles in almost every recent CU production, and Pyland impressed as Dorabella in last year`s "Cosi fan tutte."
In Wenesday’s rehearsal for the German performance, Sara Gartland and Rena Pyland created a more mature but no less convincing Hansel and Gretel. Pyland’s performance as Hansel creates an entirely different conception from Lippard’s more “masculine” version, somewhat more passive and fearful, with wonderful facial expressions. There is equal validity to both approaches.
The German cast certainly proves the CU singers
can handle this notoriously difficult language. Their diction, especially
that of Pyland and Holznagel, is nothing short of superb. Another selling
point for the German version is that the original fairy tale is of German
origin, creating an air of authenticity, but the English production
has enough felicities to recommend it as well.