Culture Magazine

Kate Royal: A Lesson in Love at Carnegie Hall

By Singingscholar @singingscholar
I bought myself a ticket to Kate Royal's Carnegie Hall recital as an end-of-semester treat; not only was I not disappointed in my first hearing of her live, but I found myself pleasantly surprised by how well the evening's concept worked. The program followed closely the content of her latest album, which she introduces here:

I admit, I was more than slightly skeptical about the premise of a pastiche song cycle of sorts.  I discussed this with a nice older lady afterwards (Carnegie Hall made the evening part of their "Salon Encores" series, which gives everyone a free glass of wine and a chance to chat about the program; very nice) who confessed to similar doubts about the attempted integration of different languages, eras, and cultures into a single narrative. But in the event, Royal won me (and my conversational partner) over: she sang with passion and dramatic nuance.  Ably accompanied by Christopher Glynn, she varied the pacing of transitions between songs, as well.  Sometimes she paused to savor expectation or satisfied longing; at other times the intensity of passion hurtled us from one vignette into the next. One such change made for one of the evening's most successful moments: a breathless transition from Hugo Wolf's "Erstes Liebeslied eines Mädchens" into Schubert's "Gretchen am Spinnrade." Oh yes, she did.
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