Today mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo, tenor Andrew Hadji, tenor Mihail Mihaylov, soprano Dilyara Idrisova, baritone Kidon Choi and bass Jongsoo Yang, competed for one of the six spots in the finals for the Aria division of the CMIM 2018 competition. Tomorrow six more candidates will participate.
Canadian Emily D’Angelo was the undeniable winner of the evening. Her performance was flawless. I can’t believe that she is only 23 years old! She is years beyond her age in terms of technical ability, interpretation and music comprehension. In fact she might be the most mature artist of the competition. She started with “Smanie implacabili” Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte to “warm up” the voice. Her technique was impeccable; her voice was like a laser. Next, she showed her precise coloratura with Handel’s “Dopo notte, atra e funesta” from Ariodante, she also showed a complete mastery of the registration issues that this aria presents. She wasn’t quite finished there! She kept Berg’s Sieben fruhe Lieder for the end. I thought this choice was a big red flag, as Jessie Norman’s version was still in my head. Of course I was wrong; her performance of this set of three songs proved not that she has enough power to project over a post-romantic orchestra, but also that she is not a “one trick pony”. She is an artist equally competent at singing coloratura and full lyric repertoire.
Bulgarian Mihail Myhaylov had his best moment of the competition so far with his interpretation of “Una Furtiva Lacrima.” He seems to understand very well what Italians call “il giro della voce, or girare la voce, which means the turn of the voice and it does reference to the ability of the singer to pass from a 1st formant strategy of resonance to a 2nd formant strategy of resonance. Anyways, to put it simple, Mihaylov’s higher register in some instances was reminiscent of, dare I say it, hmm hmmm… Luciano Pavarotti. Yes sir!, I believe Myhaylov has that kind of star quality vocal material, nevertheless he is still dealing with some technical issues that we wish he can surpass; there is something abrupt about the way he finishes his phrases. I can guess it has to be with air management.
Canadian Andrew Hadji delivered a very solid and honest performance. Wah Keung Chan, who was sitting in the Corbeil, behind the judges, tweeted “What a difference a hall makes. In Bourgie, Haji’s voice appeared thin. At Maison Symphonique, he projects well and his brightness is solid.” The French repertoire suits him very well; He navigated effortlessly the high tessitura of the aria “Je crois entendre encore” from Bizet’s Pearl Fishers, although he left off the usual optional high note at the end, leaving audiences disappointed. Massenet’s “en fermant les yeux” was also a good choice, emphasizing his sweet tone and his ability to do pianissimos in the high register.
It was obvious that the orchestra didn’t have enough time to rehearsal with the singers. They played too loud in many pieces, making the singers push their voices out of their comfort zone; the orchestra also had problems with getting clean attacks and tuning issues. They could have been a negative distraction for the singers.
I feel very confident that Emily D’Angelo will pass to the finals. Hadji showed also a charming natural tenor voice and will also move forward.
CMIM Aria semi-finals 2nd session:
Tomorrow, June 5 the competition will continue with the semifinals of the aria portion of the CMIM 2018 at Maison symphonique, 7:30 pm.
Here are the Aria semifinalists in order of appearance:
June 5 at 7:30 pm
Konstantin Lee (South Korea), tenor
Petr Nekoranec (Czech Republic), tenor
John Brancy (United States), baritone
Rihab Chaieb (Canada-Tunisia), mezzo-soprano
Mario Bahg (South Korea), tenor
Mikhail Golovushkin (Russia), bass