Magazine article Opera Canada

Carmen Unzipped

Magazine article Opera Canada

Carmen Unzipped

Article excerpt

CARMEN UNZIPPED

Jean Stilwell, mezzo-soprano, Patti Loach, piano

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This light but charming program is an introduction, for those who don't already know this aspect of the lady, to Jean Stilwell's way with a cabaret tune. While maintaining her chops and engagements in the opera and concert world, she has taken a detour to the other side of the tracks. She appears to be entirely comfortable in that neighborhood--in music that is by turns evocative, cozy, intimate, mellow, wistful and sultry.

The first eight tracks are by three young but successful songwriters hailing from New York City: John Bucchino and the team of Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich. Among the standouts are the five songs by Bucchino. "This Moment" and "Temporary," in particular, are in the showtune tradition, and Stilwell's approach suggests a lone singer perched on a stool in an intimate cafe. The Heisler/Goldrich songs, all relating life experiences from a woman's point of view, include the kooky "Taylor the Latte Boy," the tender "How I Love You" and the frustrated "Apathetic Man. …

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