Daniel Okulitch: The New American Art Song

By Berg, Gregory | Journal of Singing, September/October 2012 | Go to article overview

Daniel Okulitch: The New American Art Song


Berg, Gregory, Journal of Singing


Daniel Okulitch: The New American Art Song. Daniel Okulitch, baritone; Ricky Ian Gordon, Jake Heggie, Lowell Liebermann, Glen Roven, piano. (GPR Records GPRB004SKJZ0Y; 70:48)

Ricky Ian Gordon: Quiet Lives: "Bus Stop," "Three Floors," "The Crazy Woman," "Virginia Woolf," "Interior," "As Planned," "Kid in the Park," "Lullaby." Jake Heggie: Of Gods and Cats: "In the Beginning," "Once Upon a Universe." Glen Hoven: Songs from the Underground "He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven," "Ozymandias," "The Expulsion from Eden," "Like a Beacon," "Composed upon Westminister Bridge," "Teeth," "This is Just to Say," "What am I After All," "Song," "London Airport," "The Leader," "Knightsbridge Ballade," "Come to the Edge," "London Airport, reprise," "In My Craft or Sullen Art." Lowell Liebermann: Night Songs. "Good Night," "She Tells Her Love While Half Asleep," "A Variation on 'To Say To Go To Sleep'."

This release may be the most exciting and impressive art song recording of the last decade, thanks to the superlative calibre of songs it contains and the marvelous singer who brings them thrillingly to life. Baritone Daniel Okulitch is among the most highly regarded artists of his generation, with an impressive resumé that includes the role of Schaunard in Baz Luhrmann's groundbreaking Broadway production of La bohème from a decade ago. Although the charismatic Okulitch has won great acclaim in such mainstream roles as Don Giovanni and Figaro, his greatest headlines thus far came as the star of Howard Shore's science fiction opera The Fly, in which he appeared completely naked in one critical scene. The baring of his powerful physique may have attracted some extra attention to the L.A. Opera's production, but what garnered the most meaningful praise for Okulitch was his heart-rending portrayal of the tragic scientist Seth Brundle, while contending with a difficult and largely ungrateful musical score. It was the kind of accomplishment that an ordinary artist could not have hoped to achieve, and one can only hope-and, if there is any justice in this world, expect-that many more such opportunities will be his.

Most singers resist comparisons with colleagues and counterparts, no matter how illustrious, but one hopes that Okulitch would not mind being compared to the superb American baritone Walter Cassel. His long and distinguished career included impressive stints at both the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Opera, roles in several Hollywood musicals, and a plethora of performances in live music theater. That thorough blending of genres surely helped Cassel hone a singing style that combined operatic grandeur with down-to-earth humanity, a style that served him especially well in creating the role of Horace Tabor in The Ballad of Baby Doe. His artistic assets included a glorious voice, authentic expressiveness, and diction that was beyond reproach. Okulitch's work here, while uniquely his own, is sometimes eerily reminiscent of his highly regarded predecessor, and one anticipates that Okulitch will ultimately enjoy success of similar dimensions. He is certainly already on his way.

Thus far this discussion has been limited to the singer headlining this project, but it is the dazzling quartet of composers at hand that most dramatically distinguishes this recital from the run of the mill. Ricky Ian Gordon and Jake Heggie scarcely require a word of introduction for anyone conversant in modern opera and art song; they are the cream of the crop. Lowell Liebermann is a more familiar name in instrumental circles, with a host of highly acclaimed works to his credit, but the success of his opera The Picture of Dorian Gray leads one to hope that many more vocal works are in his future. The fourth composer, Glen Roven, may be the least familiar to JOS readers, but his resumé includes two presidential inaugural gala concerts, the one-woman shows of Liza Minnellli and Patti LuPone, the final televised appearances of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Daniel Okulitch: The New American Art Song
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.