Classical review: RSNO Valentine’s Classics, Edinburgh

The enthusiasm of the performers and the goodwill of an audience in the mood for love meant that the many flaws in this Valentine’s Day concert went largely unnoticed.

RSNO. Picture: TSPL
RSNO. Picture: TSPL
RSNO. Picture: TSPL

RSNO Romantic Valentine’s Classics - Usher Hall, Edinburgh

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Soprano Kishani Jayasinghe, tenor Nicky Spence and the RSNO Chorus sang their way through a selection of mainly operatic excerpts from tragic love affairs: Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Puccini’s La Boheme and Verdi’s La Traviata. And why Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus and not Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier?

Things lightened up with songs from Frederick Loewe’s My Fair Lady and arias from Franz Lehar’s operas. Inevitably with such wide-ranging material not all of it suits one type of voice. While Spence is a solid and versatile singer, Jayasinghe lacked tonal variety and both would have benefited from microphones. This also would have helped the three soloists from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland who turned in top-notch performances.

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Conductor Jean-Claude Picard kept things going musically but more interaction with the audience would have brought some needed coherency. The encore, Burns’s Ae Fond Kiss, a beautiful duet with string accompaniment arranged by Chris Hazell, was everything the rest of the concert should have been, but wasn’t.

Seen on 14.02.14