ntang (ntang) wrote,

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My cousin at Carnegie Hall!

Another busy day today - I went to see my cousin Karen perform at Carnegie Hall. It was her first time performing there, which was very exciting.

After the performance, we went for drinks at the uber-cool Hudson Bar, one of two bars in the Hudson Hotel. The place is trendy and cool, definitely not my normal sort of hangout - so hip it hurts. The decor is eclectic, ranging from ultra-modern to antique, with a bit of hunting-lodge thrown in for good measure. You get to it by going into an unmarked glass door, and then up an oddly-lit escalator, and suddenly you emerge into what looks almost like a hunting lodge as envisioned by some modern designer, way too cool for someone like me - and apparently frequented by celebrities.

Anyways, here are two scans from the playbill:

Out of curiousity, I spent some time looking up reviews of her past performances. Apparently, people love her. Not surprisingly, of course. ;)

"With the appearance of Karen Frankenstein as Marguerite, the opera attained its first moments of pure pleasure and excellence. Her pure, demure presence and understanding of Marguerite�s character, both as a specific individual and as an archetype brought a welcome combination of sincerity and commitment to the stage. Frankenstein�s transformation of Marguerite from the self-assured, chaste maiden of the first half to the intensely emotional, guilt-ridden woman of the second half was both convincing and compelling.

Vocally, Frankenstein was also the strongest of the principals. Her clear, well-supported soprano suited the character, gentle and sweet but capable of riding the ensembles when necessary. Her Jewel Song in the garden scene, the lack of a trill aside, was charm itself and her final scene had an edge to keep the intensity and drama intact through a long pantomime sequence during the intermezzo."

"Karen Frankenstein, as Antonia, had the show's most beautiful voice and nuanced interpretation. She made this doomed heroine compelling and never fell into insipidity or clich�. Through her expressions and gestures, Frankenstein conveyed Antonia's frustration and resentment at being forbidden to sing. These rebellious emotions are not quite expressed in the character's gentle music, but are nonetheless essential for making sense of her susceptibility to Dr. Miracle's fatal urgings."

"The Mimi for this first of the two casts, was Karen Frankenstein, her voice true, ample in warmth, finely produced and appealing. Her singing, like her manner, was very natural and unforced. In the impassioned higher range in Act II, the deeper expressiveness comes into it and with it, the opera�s poignancy."

"Karen Frankenstein as Mimi gave the strongest overall performance. Her unfussy acting, wedded to her secure singing, made for a compelling portrait of the seamstress dying of consumption. The middle voice is full and warm, with an upper register that blooms and soars up to about an A-flat or A. Her B-flat in "Donde lieta uscita" wasn't quite as full and secure, but that was a minor flaw in a performance that was both stylistically informed and emotionally powerful."

"As is the custom with WBO productions, most of the principals were young professional singers who show great promise. This was especially true of soprano Karen Frankenstein as Marguerite, the wronged woman. (Most of the principals were double-cast. Deborah Mayhan alternated in the role.) Except for a couple of strained high notes, Frankenstein exhibited excellent control and technique, pacing herself well. The Jewel Song was especially lovely. Her acting was at least adequate. She clearly pantomimed the killing of Marguerite's child during the orchestral introduction to this production's final scene -- a nice touch by stage director Christopher Harlan."

"...the angelic and gifted Karen Frankenstein..."

"The velvety soprano vocalizing of Karen Frankenstein as the tragic heroine Marguerite convincingly makes the case that the opera only skims the surface of the Goethe work, which contains much philosophizing debate."

Good stuff.
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