Magazine article Opera Canada

Michigan Opera Theatre

Magazine article Opera Canada

Michigan Opera Theatre

Article excerpt

It says a lot about the artistic quality of a regional company when it tackles a difficult work like Elektra and emerges triumphantly. That is precisely what Michigan Opera Theatre (MOT) accomplished in October as it embarked on its 44th season at the Detroit Opera House. It didn't hurt that the lineup consisted of heavy hitters: soprano Christine Goerke in the title role, mezzo Jill Grove as Klytemnestra, soprano Jennifer Check as Chrysothemis, bass-baritone Thomas Gazheli as Orest and tenor Richard Margison as Aegisth.

Many productions fall short in the pit with the challenges of Strauss' thorny, chromatic score. Not so the MOT players, capably led by Steven Mercurio. Some conductors charge like an angry elephant through the music, but Mercurio coaxed lyrical, almost tender, passages from the musicians during the Recognition Scene.

Goerke was in top form, belting out top Cs and B naturals with devastating accuracy. She also invested her role with subtlety. Although she's driven by a desire to avenge Agamemnon's murder, she also has to be cunning with other characters to get what she wants. Timorous and weak-willed, Chrysothemis is a foil to Elektra, and soprano Check played her as such, while also nailing some dead-on high B-flats. …

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