Magazine article Opera Canada

Echo: Joyce El-Khoury

Magazine article Opera Canada

Echo: Joyce El-Khoury

Article excerpt

ECHO

JOYCE EL-KHOURY

Opera Rara: ORR252

The Lebanese-Canadian sopranos new CD on the Opera Rara label is a sort of 'tribute album' to 19th-century Belgian diva Julie DorusGras. Mme. Dorus-Gras became a fixture at L'Opera de Paris in the mid-1850s, after starring in Auber's La muette de Portici, which sparked off the Belgian revolution of 1830. In Paris, she created many new roles including Alice in Meyerbeer's Robert le diable and Princess Eudoxie in Halevy's La Juive. She thrived on the mixture of bel canto and grand opera that flourished in Paris during this period.

It's easy to see why Joyce El-Khoury would be drawn to this repertoire. It fits her very beautiful and agile voice perfectly. She has all the bases covered, as she amply demonstrates in this recording. Her virtuosity in bel canto ranges from the accurate, descending runs and coloratura of Lucia's entrance aria in Lucia di Lammermoor to the much more dramatic Act I duet from the same work where she blends beautifully with American tenor Michael Spyres. …

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