For this week's Music at Lunchtime concert, we were blown away by the vocal athletism and vitality of Grace's performance of a selection of French operatic arias. Performing famous arias from Werther, Carmen & Samson et Dalila, Grace had the challenge of conveying three very different characters in a recital setting. Grace rose to the challenge with great conviction and energy, transporting us to the setting of each opera and emotions within the arias.
Grace opened the recital with the sorrowful aria Va! laisse couler mes larmes by Jules Massenet, from the opera Werther. The attention of the audience was captured immediately with Grace's powerful delivery of the declamatory opening and then continuing with a display of great control through difficult phrases and contrasting dynamics.
Following this we heard two arias from the infamous Carmen by Georges Bizet. Conveying the flirtatious and manipulative Carmen, Grace performed L'amour est un oiseau rebelle (Habanera) and Prés des remparts de Séville (Seguedilla). Although conveying two different points in the opera, both arias express Carmen's michevious and bold character. Grace performed these well-known and loved arias with fantastic confidence, moving seamlessly through the articulated melismas and wide tessitura.
To conclude the recital, Grace performed Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix by Camille Saint-Saëns, from the opera Samson et Dalila. This beautiful aria depicts the moment in which Delilah, the evil heroine, seduces Samson in order to make him tell her the secret of his trength - which will destroy him.
Congratulations, Grace for an inspiring recital.