Today's Classical Music Video

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Catherine Malfitano Sings Salome's Final Scene

On Wednesday April 18, American soprano Catherine Malfitano turns 64. One of the most remarkable singing actors of our time, Malfitano combines dramatic intensity with an expressive voice that never fails to move the listener. She began as a high lyric soprano - I recall seeing her in a 1984 Metropolitan Opera production of The Tales of Hoffmann where she sang all three heroines. A daring thing for such a young singer! Other roles that I remember hearing her sing include Juliette, Servilia, Daphne (in concert at Roy Thomson Hall in the mid 80s), Butterfly, Salome, Kostelnicka, and this last one at the English National Opera in 2006, very close to the end of her singing days. Through it all, she impressed me with her searing drama and committed vocalism. Ms. Malfitano is currently in Toronto directing the double-bill of Zemlinsky's Florentine Tragedy and Puccini's Gianni Schicchi. We can expect her personal stamp of dramatic acuity in these two shows. Here is an outstanding performance of Malfitano in the final scene from Salome, one of her most acclaimed roles. It was taped in Covent Garden 15 years ago. - Joseph K. So

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