Last night, November 17, 2017, I had the pleasure of singing an intimate concert in the home of a patron of the arts on Central Park West. The concert was a fundraiser for a NYC based program for opera singers, International Masters Academy of Opera. You can find more information on this program here: http://www.imaonyc.com. I did this program back in June of 2017 and learned a great deal from the coaches and, most of all, from Maestro Richard Barrett.
The evening was lovely and all the singers were of a very high quality and sang beautifully. It was a treat!! I myself sang “Bel Raggio Lusinghier” from Rossini’s Semiramide. Somewhere there is a recording which was taken on a phone from a little side table in the room. If the sound isn’t too terrible, I may add it to this post after the fact.
Of all the singers there, I do want to point out one in particular that I think has a special voice. To be fair, some singers were new and I liked them but I’m pointing her out because I heard her back in June and can hear the progress now. Her name is Polina Egudina, a Siberian born, statuesque, dramatic mezzo soprano. Some might even call her a contralto. Last night she sang the Saint-Seans aria, “Amour! viens aider ma faiblesse” from Samson and Delila. The tone is warm and milky with honey. I know she’s studying with Mignon Dunn. It seems to be very good for her!
The program is only on its 2nd year and I enjoyed being in the first year. Maestro Richard Barrett is a fountain of knowledge who really cares about the development of singers, young or “older”. He just loves working with good voices and is committed to helping singers advance. He’s a gift to the music world. Olga Ahn and Dongling Sophia Gao, who run the program, have the daunting task of keeping all the moving parts coordinated. They are impassioned and committed and are growing this organization from the ground up. I look forward to many good things coming from this!