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Posted October 1, 2010
Simon Keenlyside has been a staple of the European operatic stage for nearly 10 years and is only now coming to prominence in the US, largely due to the fact that American opera houses are ludicrously cavernous and Mr. Keenlyside's voice is just now filling out and filling up the MET. On his CD, we find a veritable "Greatest Hits for Baritone" in his song selection. The best tracks here are the ones in French, his easy projection and fine placement suiting the difficult vowels of the French laguage perfectly. His Italian is idiomatic as well, the baritone's rendition of "Largo al factotum" from the Barber of Seville--arguably the most well-known operatic piece ever written--is a barn burner, his fioratura and top Gs astounding. There is also a splendid high A and A-flat in the selections from L'Arlesiana and Pagliacci, respectively. Keenlyside delivers a solid, well rounded performance, though one wishes for the Champagne Aria from Don Giovanni (one of Keenlyside's signature roles), Valentin's selection from Faust and the Toreador Song from Carmen, and perhaps Pierrot's Lied form Die Tote Stadt and the remaining Papgeno arias in place of the heavier Wagner and Verdi, but all told this is a magnificent recital CD from a truly gifted artist. Not to be missed!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.