Michael Spyres at Lanaudière: A Masterclass in Belcanto

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On Thursday, July 11, along with my opera fans colleagues, we withstood a road full with traffic, heavy rain and stormy winds to the Église de l’Assomption to hear American tenor Michael Spyres and pianist Mathieu Pordoy in recital.

The inconvenient voyage paid off, as we were treated to the musicality and artistry of one of the most technically proficient singers in our time. Throughout the two hour recital, Spyres showed an instrument capable of delivering sweet and tender nuances, and also thunderous sounds, like a passing summer breeze that caresses the ear only to become a storm minutes later.

What you missed

While looking at his concert program, I couldn’t find any cohesion between the pieces, but it all became clear while watching him perform: He designed the recital to show his versatility and technical prowess, putting also in evidence the Baritenor aspect of his voice and making the public discover some less known repertoire.

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He sang a sophisticated and nuanced version of Adelaide, showcasing the light-lyric side of his voice but later surprised us with an unknown song by Rossini “Romeo” where he displayed the full heroic bravura of his instrument. He continued with Verdi’s song “L’esule,” this time transforming almost in a magic way his voice to sound more dramatic, with a thick middle voice and dark low notes proper even of a lyric baritone, only to interpolate a high C at the end of the piece.


All the music but one piece in the encore was performed with the score in front of him, which immediately created a barrier with the public and make the performance more intellectual and less emotional.

I urge classical singing fans to make the trip to Lanaudiere on Saturday, July 13 where the virtuoso tenor will be performing one last concert, this time with Lanaudiere’s Festival orchestra and chorus with Corrado Rovers at the baton. He will be performing his operatic repertoire, most notably Rossini, where the full spectrum of his baritenore abilities blooms.



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