Under the Stars

Under the Stars


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Under the Stars

If you're one of those who shudders at the thought of opera singers belting out Broadway songs, you may be in for a pleasant surprise with Under the Stars. Opera VIPs Renée Fleming and Bryn Terfel team up for this classy affair, which features songs from Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, and others. The result is a nearly perfect example of how to pull off this kind of crossover. First, get singers familiar with this kind of singing. Fleming ventured into Broadway song on Star Crossed Lovers, a duet album with Plácido Domingo, and her jazz-inflected appearance on Dave Grusin's Two Worlds recalls her early focus on jazz. Terfel, for his part, has also taken a stroll down Broadway on If Ever I Would Leave You and Something Wonderful. Both adopt a natural, straightforward style of delivery -- no overblown Wagnerian piping here. Then, avoid the overly familiar. The pair choose under-the-radar numbers from popular shows like Les Miserables ("Stars") and The Phantom of the Opera ("All I Ask of You"), while also highlighting gems from Sondheim's Sweeny Todd and Passion, as well as choice tunes from other little-known shows. Those looking for old favorites on Under the Stars won't be disappointed, though. Also featured are standards like "Hello Young Lovers" from The King and I, "So In Love" from Kiss Me Kate, and The Music Man's "Seventy-Six Trombones," which Terfel pulls off as a showstopper worthy of the legendary Robert Preston. Fleming also has her moments to shine, particularly in Rupert Holmes's gorgeous and poetic "Moonfall" from the The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Stylishly supported by the Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera under Paul Gemignani, Under the Stars offers a look at one of America's great art forms from two of the leading lights of today's opera stage. It may not sound like a winning formula, but it works like a charm.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/11/2003
Label: Decca
UPC: 0028947325024
catalogNumber: 473250
Rank: 65765

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Under the Stars 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Highly enjoyable. Bryn Terfel's voice is warm and pleasing. He has a wonderful sense of artistry and sound musical sense; vocally, he's certainly in his prime. Terfel's "Stars" (from Les Misérables), one of the definitive renditions. Fleming's two songs Moonfall and All the Wasted Time are truly gorgeous!! Her purity of tone can never be matched. The duet "Aimer" (from Roméo et Juliette) is just beautiful. "Wheels of a Dream" (from Ragtime) is another duet that is a joy to listen to (however self-indulgent Miss Fleming's singing might become). The sad note on this disc is that: lots of glottal stops and some high notes sung in full chest voice might be the accepted standard for many Broaway sopranos of this day and age, but one hopes that the intelligent Renee Fleming could rise above all that and stick to her classical vocal training. There are tons of ways to sing Broadway without it not sounding like opera (just listen to Broadway sopranos Marin Mazie and Kristin Chenoweth). Much more of this type of singing and Fleming expect the fates of Patti Lupone and Bernadette Peters -- many enjoyable vocal node removal surgeries. Overall, this is a sound purchase. Able to be enjoyed again and again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago