opera

Nathan Cone

Mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne was forthright in the description of her recent recital for the Tuesday Musical Club.

“I’m from Quebec, we tell the truth no matter what!” she joked, before explaining that her program was made up largely of already-familiar-to-her repertoire because she’s in between debut roles in two different opera companies.

It was to the audience’s benefit, though. Boulianne possessed a beautiful control of her voice, both in melody and volume for the hall, Laurel Heights United Methodist Church.

courtesy the artist

A singer hits San Antonio this evening, bringing with him a new performance genre. That singer is Korean Baritone Claudio Jung, known for singing opera arias, European songs, Korean lyric songs--he's from Korea--and others. And now, he's singing this.

This week, a new opera based on the popular but controversial Lars von Trier film, Breaking the Waves, opened in Philadelphia. With its potent combination of sex, religion and transgression, the subject matter seems ripe for operatic treatment.

Decca/UMG

I can think of many reasons to see “Florence Foster Jenkins,” the new biographical comedy starring Meryl Streep as the titular socialite who fancied herself an operatic soprano, even though she couldn’t carry a tune. But after listening to the soundtrack to the film, I cannot think of any reason to revisit it a second time.

After decades in which diversity of roles — and accents — seemed to guide her career, Meryl Streep has come to specialize in silver-haired divas. Since 2005, she's played a cookbook maven, a fashion magazine editor, and a British prime minister. Now, in Florence Foster Jenkins, she plays a real-life diva, albeit one who couldn't sing.

That doesn't seem to have fazed Jenkins and, of course, it doesn't fluster Streep. Coq au vin, Paris fashion week, the Falklands War, Mozart — she can handle them all, and at roughly the same pitch.

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