Monday, March 8, 2010


The past decade has seen a succession of young, Richmond-bred singers making their marks in opera, oratorio and art-song: soprano Pamela Armstrong, mezzo-soprano Kate Lindsey, tenor William Ferguson. All that was missing was a first-rate bass and/or baritone.

Judging by his stellar work in the Virginia Opera's just-concluded run of Mozart's "Don Giovanni," baritone Matthew Worth (University of Richmond, class of 2000) worthily (so to speak) completes the SATB set.

Now it's just a matter of luring all four back at the same time, and settling on the appropriate music. A Christmas-season "Messiah" would be the easiest choice in terms of scheduling, but probably not the best showcase for their voices. How about a Schubertiade, either with piano or in the fine (and too rarely heard) orchestrations of the Lieder by Reger, Brahms, Berlioz, Webern (!) and others?