Today's Classical Music Video

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pilar Lorengar and Richard Leech in the Grand Duet from Les Huguenots

Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots is the quintessential French grand opera - five acts and a ballet, with an epic story, outsized emotions, and a big orchestra. It has a large cast and the vocal writing is taxing - though rewarding - for the soloists.  No wonder it is hardly ever staged.  This week, Toronto opera lovers will have a chance to hear this rare work, in a concert performance by Opera In Concert. I would be foolish to suggest that you don't need an orchestra in this work - because to realize the full grandeur of this piece, you really need it.  However, that isn't likely going to happen any time soon.  What Opera in Concert does have are some fine voices - Laura Whalen as Marguerite, Edgar Ramirez as Raoul and Lesley Ann Bradley as Valentine. This single concert performance takes place on Sunday Nov. 27 at 2:30 p.m., at the Jane Mallet Theatre.  For today's video, I have chosen a fantastic video clip of the Grand Duet with a young Richard Leech as a fearless Raoul (when it comes to the high notes) and the beloved and much lamented Spanish soprano Pilar Lorengar, who left us far too soon.  Here both artists are in absolutely top form - Leech in his youthful bloom and Lorengar in her Indian Summer. It is is a performance to honour and enjoy.

- Joseph K. So

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