Monday, March 5, 2012

Opera Alert Chicago: David Daniels is in Town!

OPERA ALERT CHICAGO: DAVID DANIELS IS IN TOWN! -- Yes, kids, we know that Chicago is a long way from Hollywood -- but we wanted all our Midwest readers to know that there are only five more performances left at the Lyric Opera of Chicago to catch our favorite countertenor David Daniels in Handel's "Rinaldo" -- and there's a good reason we're telling you too! (By the way, that's Daniels in the top right photo singing his heart out in "Rinaldo.") You see, we've checked in with Daniels' wonderful artistic management staff (thanks Sam!) and we've learned that (as of this time) there are no scheduled appearances on the West Coast for him for the 2012/2013 season --so that means those lucky folks in Chicago get to hear this masterful singer -- the man with the voice of an angel -- in a very contemporary rendition of the not-oft-performed Handel piece (which he's recorded for Decca with another acclaimed singer Cecilia Bartoli).  And the critics and audiences are loving  him in Chicago -- and they are so right! At almost four hours long, this revisionist production was hailed as "a winner" by the Chicago Tribune -- and as "a triumph" by the Chicago Sun-Times. And Lawrence A. Johnson of The Classical Review checks in with this opera as having "a rich majestic score with one knockout aria after another...including some of the most indelible vocal music of his (Daniels) long career." Wow! Yes, indeed, Daniels has countersung his way to the top over the course of his lifelong journey in song -- he was a soprano as a boy, then turned to tenor as his voice matured -- and became a countertenor during graduate studies at the University of Michigan with George Shirley.  But, kids, you must hear the voice! Admittedly, there is mostly baroque material in his recorded work -- however his "A Quiet Thing" album of songs for voice and guitar serve up some more popular, familiar tunes for folks not fully immersed into early classical music.  And we've learned from Sam back at Daniels' management HQ that there might be some new recorded work coming up (we certainly have our fingers crossed!). He made his professional debut in 1992 -- and that's a long time for any man to be singing countertenor and still be at the top of his profession.  But then, we're not talking about just any opera singer, we're talking about David Daniels.  PS -- check Daniels' website in a couple of weeks for a new update of coming appearances -- he just might be bringing his angelic voice to your town! How heavenly that would be!
David Daniels:
David Daniels sings Kander & Ebb's "A Quiet Thing"
Photo of Rinaldo production by Dan Rest / courtesy Lyric Opera of Chicago
Special thanks to Carrie Napolilli Krol at Lyric Opera of Chicago
Portrait of Daniels by Bernard Benant / Virgin Records