Christopher Johnstone Receives Rave Review

Alumnus Christopher Johnstone received a spectacular review of a recent Dallas performance of Evita (he’s playing Magaldi on the national tour).

“Johnstone possesses a remarkable tenor voice that fills the entire Music Hall. It is a clean tenor vocal with a vibrato that stays in total control. His belt flies into the rafters when he hits those high notes in his solo, “On This Night of a Thousand Stars”. … Johnstone dives deep into the character, giving Magaldi new emotional shades and subtext I had never seen before, and what he creates is outstanding. His stage presence is so magnetic that your attention continuously goes toward him… You can’t help but get a tad jealous of Johnstone’s trifecta of chiseled body, matinee idol looks, and magnificent singing voice – and the guy can dance like a pro…”

Nathan Stark in La Fille du Regiment

Alumnus Nathan Stark performed the role of Sergeant Sulpice in La Fille du Regiment at the Madison opera Feb 7 and 9, 2014.

He received several excellent reviews including, “With Nathan Stark as Sergeant Sulpice, the opening scene of Act 2 was simply a tour de force” from the Madison Magazine; “Tall and stocky veteran baritone Nathan Stark is ideal as the blustering but warm-hearted Sulpice.” from the Daily Isthmus; and “Mr. Stark… was clearly the most experienced of the three principals. Although more often than not tasked with portraying serious bass roles such as the Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Mr. Stark was perfectly charming as the oafish Sulpice, leader of the regiment that has raised Marie, and primary father figure to the lass.  He gave Sulpice his all, making him both believable and amusing. One wonders whether singing basso buffo roles might prove to be a gold mine for Mr. Stark. He was certainly very successful with this one!” from www.taminophile.com.

The Choruses Rang Out with Fabulous Splendor

Mark Swed, music critic for the Los Angeles Times, wrote a triumphant review of Britten’s War Requiem performance at Disney Hall on Monday, November 23. “The choruses rang out with fabulous splendor,” he wrote of the combined forces from USC, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Fullerton, Chapman University Singers, Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, and the 
New Zealand Youth Choir.

Swed added that the had wished President Obama, who was in Los Angeles during the performance, had heard the “exalted young performers offering hope for the future of idealism and even, some distant day, peace.”

Photo credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times / November 26, 2013
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-1127-war-requiem-pictures,0,594755.photogallery#ixzz2ltSanQgD

 

“Stunning” Performance of War Requiem at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Robert D. Thomas, music critic of the Pasadena Star-News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Whittier Daily News wrote a magnificent review of the Britten War Requiem performance.

“The choral forces delivered a beautiful tone and were amazingly precise throughout the 84 minutes, but particularly in the extended fugal writing in the “Dies Irae” sections.” and “Two bells — C and F-sharp — continue to toll as they have throughout the piece and the chorus finally dies away in a mysterious vapor. The capacity audience sat spellbound, silent for 20 seconds, before erupting in wave after wave of standing ovations for the performers.”