Thursday, October 09, 2008

Irina Rindzuner as Turandot

Sam Shirakawa has been lurking on the Upper East Side:

Dicapo Opera -- 10 October

Just when I was beginning to despair that Birgit Nilsson was really the End of the Wagnerian Line, up pops a voice that appears to be fulfilling The Promise of a new dynasty.

But I had a problem with Irina Rindzuner at the dress rehearsal of Dicapo Opera Theater's up-coming Turandot: her voice is simply too big for Dicapo's intime home in the cellar of a church on the Manhattan's East Side. When Rindzuner fired off those notes above the staff with such laser beam accuracy, I could feel my gums rattling.

The voice is huge, but it also is beautiful. It's even from top to bottom and opens out gloriously as it ascends to those killer Bs and above. As with most quality singers of her ilk, Rindzuner has vibrato to spare, but it's tight and torrid. Think Eugenia Burzio meets Magda Olivero, but not quite as devouring as either.

Skeptical? Check her out on YouTube. As they used to say about Leider, Lawrence and Big F, the documentation is but a shadow.

Maybe it's fortunate that Rindzuner is only covering Santuzza at the Met this season. But given some of the Wiener Schnitzel scheduled for this year's Ring Cycle, she'd be a sensation there, if she stepped in.

Best not to say too much, because I attended a dress rehearsal.

The rest of the cast was noteworthy, but some of them were marking, so no names will be mentioned here. For all I know, Rindzuner was marking too. The US economy should only have such reserves.

Turandot begins a four-performance run this Friday at their home on East 76th Street at Lexington.

Sam H. Shirakawa

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