What might have been a confusion of bedfellows in the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall did not turn out to be so. Returning to the hall after intermission one saw the instrumentalists of Les Violons du Roy, a period orchestra fronted by a large Steinway, its lid held high. This would have been sacrilege in Boston, but it worked. Marc-André Hamelin, that master of pianistic detail, found easy company with the subtle players of the renowned orchestra. Les Violons are not afraid to make a luscious sound now and then. In the slow air from Rameau’s Les Boreads which opened the concert, the bassoon solo gave us what might have been the most beautiful five minutes of the evening—her counter-melody just that little bit too slow and its sound beguiling.
It is the music that matters,” says Florence Foster Jenkins in Stephen Temperley’s Souvenir at Capital Rep in Albany. This superbly performed show is a feast of vocal mayhem. Not only is Mrs. Jenkins convinced that her singing has great value, but so are we. In fact, it is awful. Painfully bad. After a long search for an appropriate accompanist, one who can stand to listen to her, she finally finds her man. He somehow survives the initial shock when she cuts loose in their first rehearsal together, and is slowly, painfully, convinced of the value and, in fact, the beauty, of the soprano’s belief in herself.
Tartuffe has lately trod the stage as a demon whose main weapon is subtlety. Doug Ryan, at Hubbard Hall, would have none of this; he was dastardly from line one. Excellently, he came close to desperation more than once, fighting for his life. Mr. Ryan does two important things at once. His face and voice are often in line, but just as often they are not. He is the master of mixed messages.