Guccione Rare and Memorable

The Mercury (South Africa)-April 27, 1995
Author: Sean Schulze.
Section: Music

IT IS remarkable how events so often conspire to bring the largest audiences to the most mediocre of musical offerings while really worthwhile concerts go relatively unnoticed.

Yesterday was just one such occasion, with Chicago-based soprano Rose Guccione singing to a smallish but hugely appreciative audience at a free lunch-hour concert on the Natal University campus.

That Ms Guccione is one of the best singers to grace a Durban stage in recent years is without question. A programme including works by Massenet, Puccini, Schumann, Verdi, Wagner and Rogers and Hammerstein revealed an artist of the very highest calibre.

Trying to find words to describe Ms Guccione’s voice is no easy task. A golden sound coupled to a soaring legato is one thing, but when married to an innate sense of style and deep artistic involvement, the effect is quite mesmerising. Her ability to capture the varied emotional landscape of Schumann’s cycle, Frauenliebe und Leben, was particularly impressive as was the more virtuostic display in the operatic aria’s of Puccini, Verdi et al.

Underpinning all this was faultless intonation and a clear pronunciation of the Italian, German and English tests. Somehow, Ms Guccione succeeded in casting that spell that characterises a memorable and rare musical event.

Accompanist Andrew Warburton was sensitive and complementary throughout.


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