Voce di Meche
"The zarzuela they chose, El Barbero de Sevilla, was composed by Gerónimo Giménez and Manuel Nieto with a libretto by Guillermo Perrin and Miguel de Palacios; it premiered in Madrid in 1901 and is best known for the soprano aria "Me llaman la primorosa" which we have heard the marvelous Maria Brea sing in recital. How totally excellent it was to hear her sing the entire role of Elena, a wannabe diva who defies her strict father Nicolás (portrayed by baritone Stan Lacy) to star as Rosina in Rossini's masterpiece Il barbiere di Siviglia in a regional company in Burgos.
This gave Ms. Brea an opportunity not only to sing the afore-mentioned "Polonesa" as an interpolation for the voice lesson scene, but to also let out all the stops for "Una voce poco fa". Of course we have heard sopranos sing this mezzo role before, but we were particularly taken by Ms. Brea's ability to handle the lower register as well as committing to the firework coloratura of the cabaletta."
OCT 17, 2019
As Elena, María Brea showcased a fantastic soprano, particularly in her high range. She gets the zarzuela’s most famed number “Me llaman la primorosa,” which she pulled off with incredible precision and ease. The phrases sounded easy in her voice, with each elegantly woven into the next, the leaps to the high notes often approach with a splendid portamento that only added to the luxurious polish that she imbued. This aria is supposed to showcase Elena’s virtuosity as a singer and there was no doubt that she did just that in this particular selection. Her soprano soared wonderfully in ensembles, with the opening trio another example of her vocal presence. At one point Elena must practice some scales, giving Brea her first opportunity to showcase the flexibility of her voice; she managed these runs with ease, adding some comic touches with her body language.
She delivered a solid “Una voce poco fa,” her voice solidly grounded in the opening section of the aria. “Io sono docile” didn’t start off as comfortably with the soprano seeming a bit out of breath during some of the coloratura runs and even falling slightly behind, but she managed to put it all together in the second half and finish off the evening with a triumphant high note over the vocal ensemble.