Renee Fleming And Susan Graham In Recital
Concert Review by Willard Manus

The recent 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 evening.