An evening of opera

Musical sensation

Two brilliant artistes brought the magic of opera houses INCREDIBLE Akiko Mauduit and R Excelicia Cunville at the performance.

All the way from Bangalore, singer and choir director R Excelicia Cunville and piano artiste from Japan, Akiko Mauduit rendered compositions in French and German so beautifully, that even if some in the audience did not understand the words, everyone connected with them.

In an hour-and-a-half of mellifluous music, the two recited 18 pieces of compositions from legendary composers like F Schubert, G F Handel, G Faure, H Purcell, AH Malotte and W A Mozart. Four of these were operas like Cara Sposa (Italian), Aria from Dido and Aenaes and Samson and Dalila (French), while the others included Lieder (lighter) pieces like Who is Sylvia by Schubert, Tristesse (French) by Faure, In Spring Time by T Morley and Catholic mass and sacred songs like The Lord’s Prayer and Alleluia.

Excelicia sang these compositions beautifully, while Akiko gave her perfect company on the piano. Excelicia displayed a perfect mastery of the opera style of singing, negotiating the high and low pitches of each composition with equal ease and grace, while Akiko struck exactly the right chords on piano. The compositions rendered had been written many centuries ago based on Roman and Greek mythologies.

The Aria from Samson and Delilah (French) recounted the biblical fable of Samson, the judge of Israel who fell for a cunning woman Delilah. Delilah connived with the mythical Philistine leaders, Samson’s enemies to make him fall in love with her and then let out the secret to his strength. This eventually led to Samson revealing the secret to his power – his hair, and his ultimate death. Another fable which the artistes recounted through their act was that of Dido and Aeneas – the love story of Dido, Queen of Carthage and the Trojan hero Aeneas, and her despair at his abandonment of her.

The most interesting part of this piece was Excelicia’s acting of Dido, the queen who wants to kill herself not being able to bear the pain of separation from her lover. The information that she provided to the audience before every piece and her friendly demeanour kept the audience incredibly involved in the whole performance.

The audience was so impressed with her performance that, at the end of the show, everybody asked for more. The artistes of course obliged and performed another piece.

Excelicia, who is originally from Shillong, informs, “This is one of the best shows of my life. Even though opera singing requires a lot of hard work and practice, this is the kind of response which makes it all worthwhile.”

Akiko, on the other hand, exclaims, “You know, with this kind of applause, I could go on playing the piano the whole night.”

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