These past two weeks have offered so many things to see and hear, and although I have enjoyed all that I have seen and heard, I messed up.
Last Sunday, I mistakenly missed a recital that I have been so looking forward to. Sarah Rachel Bernadetto Saturino, whose work (and friendship) I have so enjoyed over her past two years in the opera department at Yale, performed her second year recital last Sunday at Sprague Hall, and I foolishly thought that it was at 7:30. At 5:30, I decided to check to make sure I got the time right, to my HORROR, I realized that it started at 4:30.
Tears, self-directed anger and remorse followed immediately, and I hastily popped onto the live stream, just in time to hear her last song in the Mahler cycle.
Thankfully, the entire recital is available on You Tube, and I have since enjoyed it a few times.
I have reviewed it more specifically, so have a look.
The Yale Drama School is considered one of the best in the world, and the graduate program has cranked some of the best actors we have known. Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver, Courtney B. Vance, are just a few of the superb actors the school has educated over the years.
Ever since it was announced last year, that Passion was on the schedule, I have been patiently waiting to see it. And it was well worth the wait.
The play begins with a love scene between Giorgio, a soldier in the Italian Army, circa 1863, and his beautiful lover, Clara. They sing So Much Happiness, which is somewhat ironic, considering that Clara is a married woman, so really, how happy can this be? Ben Anderson, as Giorgio, and Courtney Jamison as the very beautiful, Clara, sing this duet, on a table in center stage, naked, with a purple drape over their bodies. Anderson and Jamison are both excellent, although, Ms. Jamison’s voice betrays her from time to time, especially in her high notes. Mr. Anderson, while not the traditionally ruggedly handsome Giorgio, sings well, and is a fine actor.
But the show belongs to Stephanie Machado as Fosca. Ms. Machado has all the right equipment to have a wonderful career. She is a brave and unrestrained performer with a strong voice and presence. This show could never be done without a superb actress in this part, and she is brilliant in the role. I look forward to seeing where her career takes her.
Sondheim seems to be the one composer of musical theatre that Yale Rep and Drama School do not shy away from. After all, The Yale Rep debuted Sondheim’s rarely performed show, The Frogs in the Yale pool in 1974, starring drama student, Meryl Streep. Last year, the Rep put on Assassins, and the university presented Sondheim with a special award for his artistic contributions.