Review by Willard Manus
recital at Disney Concert Hall by the two Texan divas, Renee Fleming and
Susan Graham, concentrated on the French art songs of the belle epoque
era. Such composers as Saint-Saens, Faure and Debussy were featured by
the two sopranos, who sang with exquisite simplicity and beauty, sometimes
together, other times alone (their accompanist was Bradley Moore).
Clad in elegant gowns and exuding confidence and joie de vivre, Fleming
and Graham delivered a memorable concert, breathing fresh life into such
songs as Saint-Saen's Pastorale, Faure's Tarantelle Op. 10 No.2 and, after
the intermission, selections from Berlioz, Messager, Offenbach and Delibes.
The latter's bolero, Les filles de Cadix, was interpreted in breathtakingly
accomplished fashion by Renee Fleming.
The audience at Disney Hall was so delighted by the performances that
it demanded numerous encores from the two singers, who responded with
excerpts from Cosi fan tutte and Hansel and Gretel. Then Graham, vamping
it up with cigarette in hand, sat down at the piano and delivered a lusty
version of Edith Piaf's La vie en rose. It was the fitting end to a transcendental