Posts Tagged ‘Claire Primrose’
Recital in the Music Workshop of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Macquarie Street, Sydney
Sunday, 25th November 2012
Claire Primrose – Dramatic Soprano
Associate Artist – Diana Weston, Piano
Henri Duparc (1848 – 1933)
Le Manoir de Rosamonde
Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949)
Samuel Barber (1910 – 1981)
William Bolcom (1938 – )
Black Max (as told by the Kooning Boys)
Richard Wagner (1813 – 1883)
Fünf Gedichte fur eine Frauenstimme
Stehe Still !
During a brief return to Australia to catch up with family and friends in Sydney, this concert was originally intended to be a family affair for her extended family and Australian friends. With the help of Inara Molinari and Ondine Productions, the recital went to the next level, by being transferred to the Music Workshop of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and inviting members of the Public. Thank Heavens it did. To miss the artistry and magnificent voice of Ms Primrose during her stay in Sydney would have been criminal !
The inspired program took us on a journey through all the many facets of love and loss – the loss of a lover, the death of family and humorous cabaret style songs about the ‘loss’ of a one-night stand ! Starting with an exquisite and stylish performance of a selection of chansons of Duparc, the program took it up a notch with some Richard Strauss lieder. With a subtle adjustment of her voice she performed this bracket with a characteristic Straussian tone. Three cabaret style songs of Barber and Bolcom followed which required an altogether change in style which was accomplished brilliantly with great acting, a totally accurate cabaret style and a great sense of humour with the material. Ms Primrose years living in New York really paid off in these three songs.
After a brief off-stage ‘tune-up’ of the voice in another studio, the audience was treated to Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder. These were truly magnificent, both vocally and in their interpretation. Here is a true Wagnerian dramatic soprano at the peak of her powers. The voice is huge with a glorious ringing top which she can extend down into her middle voice, and also her extend her considerable chest voice into her middle as well – all seamlessly with no break, and to thrilling effect ! No wobble, strain or woolliness heard here. This voice is liquid gold. No wonder a a critic compared her to the late Birgit Nilsson following her recent concert in Manilla.
As if the magnificent voice and musical style was not enough, Ms Primrose also has the extraordinary ability to perform her music with incredible emotion, drama and acting ability. The mind boggles at the thought of her performing roles such as Elektra and Brunhilde.
Sympathetic accompaniment of very difficult music was provided by Diana Weston.
This recital was one of my great musical treats of the last few years, and I have no doubt was also for the many members of the large audience that attended it.
As an aside, yet again there was no one from Opera Australia there to witness this extraordinary Australian singer’s World class talents.
The Manila Symphony Orchestra (The Phillippines), in an early celebration of the Wagner Bicentennial, featured Claire Primrose in an all-Wagner concert on the 10th November, 2012 at the Philamlife Theater, United Nations Avenue., Manila.
Opera patron Joseph Uy described Primrose in the Manila media as a “true Wagnerian voice.” Primrose came to his notice for her Elektra at the Taipei International Festival of Arts and said ”Singers who possess a Wagnerian voice are, indeed, very rare. This is true not only in Asia but all over the World. Equally demanding is Richard Strauss’ “Elektra” now gradually being identified with Primrose. There are so few singers who can sing that role. The last unforgettable one I heard was Dame Gwyneth Jones. What I love in Claire Primrose is that she is so musical and yet willing to take risk, seldom you hear someone who really sings the part lyrically, yet conveys the meaning of each word and makes you feel what she is feeling at that time.”
The program consisted of the following excerpts:
Dich teure Halle
Tristan und Isolde Prelude
Die Walküre - “Winterstürme Duet”
Ride of the Valkyries
Die Götterdämmerung - Immolation Scene
“While Primrose sang, each aria gained consistently in atmosphere, credence and momentum, magnetizing the listeners with its fiery intensity…
With her sumptuous, puissant voice — dark and rich —
her firmly sustained top notes rose and floated above the orchestra…
she was arguably inimitable”.
No doubt many readers are aware the Opera Insider is a big fan of Australian born dramatic soprano, Claire Primrose. After a 4 month hiatus of posts to this site, I am so pleased that my first post is to announce the return of Ms Primrose for a lieder concert at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in November of this year. Details are as follows:
Legacies of Love and Loss – Internationally acclaimed Australian Soprano, Claire Primrose, in Recital
Presented by Ondine Productions.
Hot on the heels of Manila’s largest classical musical event in years, an epic Wagner Gala, New York based Australian Soprano, Claire Primrose, makes a rare and welcome return to Australia.
Praised for her “spine-tingling voice” (Wall Street Journal, 2011), Primrose has performed major roles including Senta, Leonora, Fiordiligi, Leonore, Santuzza, Lady Macbeth, Sieglinde, Chrysothemis, Minnie in Puccini’s LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST and the title roles of TOSCA and TURANDOT, in opera houses throughout the UK, Europe, Asia and North America.
Hailed for her recent outstanding performances as Strauss’s ELEKTRA in New York for One World Symphony and for the National Symphony Orchestra at the Taiwan International Festival of Arts, Primrose has established herself as a leading exponent of the dramatic operatic repertoire.
“Her (Primrose’s) powerful, dark-edged dramatic soprano was perfectly suited to Strauss’ demands…The voice grew in beauty and bloom throughout the evening…Casting directors should be queuing to sign her up”.
Opera UK Magazine, 2011
“[Claire’s] opening “alleins” sent shivers of excitement through the Hall. Here was a true Elektra voice, rich in nuance…there was much beauty in Primrose’s delivery, yet no lack of power when needed, the gleaming high notes hurled forth with the ease and accuracy of a Nilsson”.
American Record Guide, 2011.
For one special performance, Claire invites you to share with her another side of Strauss, Wagner and others – through an intimate program of lieder that explores loss, nostalgia, irony and ecstasy. Prepare to be taken to places of great emotional depth.
Associate Artist: Diana Weston, piano Program:
Barber: Solitary Hotel
Bolcom: Black Max and Toothbrush Time
Strauss: Zueignung, Morgen, Allerseelen, Wiegenlied
Duparc: Phidylé, Le Manoir de Rosemonde, Chanson Triste, Lamento
Wagner: Wesendonck Lieder
Sunday, November 25 at 4.00pm
Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Macquarie Street, Sydney Tickets: $40 Adults, $20 Concession
“Fantastic YouTube video of Primrose singing Elektra’s Monologue!!!
Amazing singing and great presence and drama. All the more astonishing given it was in concert.
By: William Cohen
Another phenomenal of review of Claire Primrose in the Taipei Festival of Arts ELEKTRA just published in the prestigious American Record Guide by Robert Markow, Strauss and Wagner specialist. Excerpts from the long feature article include the following comments:
“It had been meticulously prepared by its recently-appointed Music Director, Shao-Chia Lu. One could only marvel at the razor-sharp detail and wealth of dynamic nuances he drew from his orchestra. Lu, no stranger to the opera (he had previously led productions in Hanover and Hamburg), played down the convulsive side of the music to deliver a more cantabile approach; yet the big moments were thrilling beyond belief. (I actually found myself shaking on a couple of occasions.) The orchestra played at all times with a richly blended, cultured quality and seemed completely at ease with the fiendishly difficult music. There was never a raw sound or ugly note.
The title role was taken by the Australian soprano Claire Primrose, whose opening “alleins” sent shivers of excitement through the Hall. Here was a true Elektra voice, rich in nuance, emanating a sense of reserved power, capable of projecting to the back of the hall without force. In keeping with Lu’s lyrical approach, there was much beauty in Primrose’s delivery, yet no lack of power when needed, the gleaming high notes hurled forth with the ease and accuracy of a Nilsson.
It is unlikely any house in Europe or America has mounted a better Elektra in recent years, and I felt privileged to be there.”
The phenomenal reviews Primrose received are rare for Elektra. The many high notes are more difficult than in Brunnhilde, and to be compared in the same breath to Nilsson is great praise.
By: Terrace Barnes
“The main singers were imported for the occasion, including Claire Primrose, an Australian dramatic soprano with a spine-tingling voice, in the title role. But the supporting cast was filled with local performers.
The orchestra, meanwhile, handled the music’s hairpin key changes with aplomb. At the opera’s climax, as Elektra dances herself to death, the music jolts between creeping unease and heart-stopping horror.
Thunderous applause, a standing ovation, and an amazing five curtain calls later, the audience drifted out of the hall.”
The Wall Street Journal
Amanda Holloway reviewing the first performance of Richard Strauss’ ELEKTRA in Taipei in “OPERA” magazine had the following to say concerning Claire Primrose:
“The Australian soprano Claire Primrose (Elektra) has never sung the role on stage and this was only her third concert performance. Her powerful, dark-edged dramatic soprano was perfectly suited to Strauss’ demands. During her 90 minutes on stage, the tone didn’t waver for an instant. Quite the contrary – the voice grew in beauty and bloom through the evening. And Primrose can act too – she managed to create a driven, desperate character with just a black dress qnd a wild black curly wig. Casting directors should be queuing to sign her up.”
Hmmm. Perhaps Australian casting directors should take note as well.