Peabody Opera Theatre delivers colorful 'Rake's Progress' at the Lyric
Forgive the abbreviated report (ever the slothful one, I do try to take a day off every now and then), but I wanted to get a little something on the record about Peabody Opera Theater.
The company made its first venture into the Lyric Opera House Friday night with a production of Stravinksy's "The Rake's Progress" that gets a repeat Sunday afternoon.
Catch it if you can -- this work will not be back around soon. (This is quite the week for rarities in Baltimore; the BSO just presented an Honegger oratorio for the first time.)
In brief, the Peabody staging by Garnett Bruce (director) and Luke Hegel-Cantarella (set) provides a colorful, often clever framework for this fable about a young man's descent into ruin and madness.
The orchestra, dynamically led by Hajime Teri Murai, revels in the neo-classical piquancy of Stravinsky's ingenious score. It's great to hear the musicians in the resonant acoustics of the Lyric. The strings, in particular, sounded terrific.
And the young cast ...
reveals considerable flair for the assignment.
Peter Scott Drackley is a bit short on tonal heft and nuance, but his performance in the title role is always musically attentive.
Kisma Jordan steals the show, vocally, as Anne Trulove with her truly lovely soprano. She sounds wonderful in the house, the tone ripe and well-supported, the phrasing lively, the diction superb. I can't prove any great powers of prognostication, but I sure do feel there's a good chance we could all be hearing more from this singer in time.
Peter Tomaszewski uses his vocal resources effectively as the devilish Nick Shadow and brings a nice theatrical flair to the role. Kristina Lewis has a good romp as the curiously bearded Baba the Turk; her singing, especially in the low register, has considerable lushness.
The cast is nicely rounded off by Alexander Rosen (Trulove) and Diana Cantrelle (Mother Goose). Particularly vibrant work comes from David Diehl as Sellem; he matches Jordan for precise articulation of the English text (surtitles are used in the production, just in case).
The chorus is the other big star, producing a hearty, balanced tone; the choristers also jump unabashedly into the action part of the assignment, starting off in their underwear for the bustling brothel scene.
PHOTOS BY EDWARD S. DAVIS