Magazine article Opera Canada

Lakme: Aline Kutan (Lakme) and William Burden (Gerald) in the Michigan Opera Theatre Production. (United States: Lakme; Opera in Review)

Magazine article Opera Canada

Lakme: Aline Kutan (Lakme) and William Burden (Gerald) in the Michigan Opera Theatre Production. (United States: Lakme; Opera in Review)

Article excerpt

Michigan Opera Theatre's welcome production of Lakme was announced as a vehicle for French-repertory specialist Sumi Jo, singing her first-ever performances of the title role. When she withdrew two weeks before rehearsals began, opportunity fell squarely onto the shoulders of Aline Kutan, the Canadian soprano scheduled for the alternate cast, who gamely undertook six performances of this technically difficult, stylistically elusive role over a nine-day stretch. It was a risky but triumphant move. Kutan had distinguished herself in the second cast of Anoush at MOT last fall, and it was good to re-encounter her in a role that gave greater leeway to her very substantial gifts: a lovely, coolly throbbing, silvery timbre; impressive technical command; a sure sense of style; and a winning, sympathetic stage presence. Her Bell Song dazzled sufficiently, but never without a sense of its purpose in the drama, and when, in the last act, she ingested the fatal datura, her last phrases had the lyrically scented evanescen ce of a delicate perfume wafted on the gentlest of breezes. …

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