Magazine article Opera Canada

Michigan Opera Theatre

Magazine article Opera Canada

Michigan Opera Theatre

Article excerpt

Deborah Voigt, who has carved out an impressive career singing the lusty-lunged heroines of Wagner and Strauss, chose an unlikely role to make her Michigan Opera Theatre debut at the Detroit Opera House in April--Hanna, in Franz Lehar's comic operetta, The Merry Widow. Unlikely, perhaps, but understandable. Maybe she's just tired of belting out tragic roles like Brunnhilde, Isolde and Salome, and dying at the end.

Voigt had never performed Hanna before, and it showed at times. She's still growing into the part and perhaps doesn't have the natural proclivity for the role that Beverly Sills, Joan Sutherland or Elizabeth Schwarzkopf possessed. But she also, thankfully, didn't portray her as a comic ditz. Hanna is still smarting from being snubbed by Danilo and his aristocratic family back when she didn't have a farthing.

Although she held much of her vocal power in reserve, Voigt, looking quite trim these days, still has ample pipes. So pairing her opposite tenor Roger Honeywell as Danilo was a bit odd. Their voices may not have blended particularly well (I've always preferred casting a baritone as Danilo), but their acting was on the mark. That's not surprising since the Toronto-born Honeywell has a firm grounding as a thespian at both the Stratford and Shaw festivals. …

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