REVIEW: Suddenly Spinto: AVA’s Giargiari Bel Canto Competition (for Parterre Box

Soprano Yihan Duan at the Giargiari Bel Canto Competition. (Photo by Don Valentino)


Cameron Kelsall: For the uninitiated, the Giargiari Bel Canto Competition is held each fall by the Academy of Vocal Arts. A dozen or so of the conservatory’s resident artists vie for two titles: the overall first-place finish, selected by a panel of industry judges; and an audience-favorite award, selected by all in attendance.

The evening’s title is something of a misnomer, in that artists are not limited to the bel canto genre — rather, they can sing whatever they like. It’s also somewhat inaccurate when you consider there’s often as much “can belto” as there is “bel canto” to be heard.

David Fox: How about if we start at the end, since that’s the best news? As happens all too rarely in competition settings, here I felt both that there was a clear winner, and even some sense of unanimity. When soprano Yihan Duanstarted to sing her aria, you could feel an almost electric charge that something special was happening. The audience, enthusiastic throughout (and no doubt including friends and family of all the singers involved), almost went wild with applause…

Read the full review at Parterre Box.

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