Review: Greensboro Opera and EMF ‘What I Did for Love’
“A sellout crowd filled two dozen round tables tastefully arranged around a platform in the middle of Temple Emanuel for a recital of arias and ensembles drawn from the world of operas and musicals. David Holley, the general and artistic director of the Greensboro Opera and master of many trades, not only introduced the evening but produced the show and even sang the tenor part in three of the ensemble numbers.
Familiar opera stars—soprano Jill Gardner, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Foley Davis and baritone Kyle Guglielmo—joined Holley in presenting some of opera lovers’ favorite pieces, all accompanied by the excellent pianist, Ben Blozan, a faculty member at High Point University and the pianist of the Greensboro Opera…
…The famous aria “Un bel di vedremo,” (“One fine day we’ll see …”) was the first of three excerpts from Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” presented during the recital. The soprano Gardner was convincing as the ill-fated Butterfly. She has a superb high register and a dramatic sense of timing. She will sing the title role in the Greensboro Opera’s full-length production of “Madame Butterfly” on Nov. 9 and Nov. 11. Davis will accompany her in the role of Suzuki.
Changing styles slightly to communicate the English lyrics more directly, the singers launched into some very familiar songs from Broadway, starting with Gardner’s stunning “I Could Have Danced All Night” (Lerner and Lowe, “My Fair Lady”). Gardner and Guglielmo were at their vocal and comedic best in the very entertaining “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better” (Irving Berlin, “Annie Get your Gun”).”