At the risk of mixing metaphors, soprano Louise Alder was stepping into big shoes in replacing the indisposed Danielle de Niese at the drop of a hat on Saturday morning at the Queen’s Hall.
Star rating: ****
Venue: The Queen’s Hall
Filling them with poise, confidence and some superb singing with the ever-excellent Dunedin Consort, Alder, still under 30, is a name assuredly on the up and one to keep a close eye on.
Picking up on more or less exactly the same challenging all-Handel repertoire as was already programmed, his Cantata Il Delirio Amoroso was exactly right for her skill, and clear enjoyment, in conveying the drama of the action, whether real or dreamt, built around lost love.
With a voice that still has space to bloom in colouring and to fill out even further in the gorgeous rich tone at its core, Alder’s technique is even now secure enough to scale Handel’s endless runs with astounding breath control and diction that allows every word to be heard, often more than once in Handel’s regular repeats.
Well-matched with the Consort’s period timbre and energetic flow that director John Butt projects from the harpsichord, she was also intelligently complicit with him in a shared understanding of what this music is about.