Raves for Rinaldo!
by Christie Connolley
You are all wondering how Operagasm’s Valentine Luca Pisaroni did in his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut in Rinaldo, aren’t you? As if there is any doubt – he was fabulous! The whole show was fabulous! But don’t take our word for it, check out the Operagasm Review Rundown of John von Rhein’s review for the Chicago Tribune.
Holla!: ” …. Rinaldo is everything it set out to be: a banquet of superior Handel singing laced with the playful theatrical imagination of director Francisco Negrin and his design team. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a “Rinaldo” better served musically than it is by Lyric’s international cast — starring countertenor David Daniels in the title role — and presided over by Baroque specialist Harry Bicket, who paces Handel’s great score briskly but always flexibly. Lyric has surrounded Daniels with some of the foremost Handel singers of the younger generation, five of whom are making company debuts.”
Oh my…. yes… his strong, firm bass baritone: “The bellicose Argante gets to ride atop a pile of big block letters spelling out “Gerusalemme” (that’s “Jerusalem” in Italian). Pisaroni blusters powerfully, with a strong, firm bass-baritone that fairly shakes the Ardis Krainik Theatre to its foundation. As Argante’s opposite, Prina uses her dark-hued, plushy contralto to admirable effect, scoring another notable Lyric debut.”
Oh yeah… there were other people besides Luca singing: “Daniels makes the resolute hero a sympathetic presence throughout. The American countertenor vents Rinaldo’s grief affectingly in his emotionally charged “Cara sposa,” before tossing off the virtuosic roulades of “Venti, turbini.”