Thursday, February 13, 2014

Nicole Cabell in the Poulenc Gloria

To the Festival Hall last night to see our wonderful and brilliant friend Nicole Cabell sing the Poulenc Gloria. This is a really remarkable piece which I hadn't heard. Poulenc was a deeply committed Catholic and this is religion from the heart but with he deep wisdom of humanity. He said that he had in mind Cherubs with their tongues sticking out or monks playing football.

The Philharmonia Chorus was in tremendous voice and the sound in many places was truly overwhelming. Charles Dutoit was a complete master of this piece and his forces - the RPO played magnificently. Nicole was as so often really transcendent, getting deeply into the music and raising the performance to yet another level, higher and deeper. The soloist pleads, meditates, disconcerts - although a much longer role it reminds me a bit of the Mater Gloriosa in Mahler 8.

Afterwards her friends Alyson Cambridge and Quinn Kelsey also came backstage. Quinn couldn't stay because he's singing Rigoletto at the ENO starting today. Alyson is starring in La Boheme at the Albert Hall but this doesn't open for a couple of weeks so we were all able to go out for a drink and a bite to eat.

The concert last night was broadcast live so you can hear it on BBC iPlayer here. Meanwhile, do go to hear Alyson and Quinn.  Nicole will be back in the UK in March and April for concerts. Come on Covent Garden - book her for opera!

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