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Claire Lees in Concert

by on 30 September 2020

Paris Tunes In

Claire Lees in Concert

★Opera Live At Home★, On-line, 29th September

Review by Kate Cleeland

An exciting first for Britain’s opera-hungry music lovers, a monthly interactive on-line programme presented by former opera singer Helen Astrid was launched at the end of September, the first of the series showcasing the talents of rising opera star Claire Lees with her accompanist Dylan Perez.

Online listeners were treated to six outstanding arias ranging from Purcell to Verdi all chosen to display Claire’s vocal and expressive range.  Her voice was ravishing.  Opening the concert with Semele’s gorgeous endless pleasure by Handel, the audience were thrilled with her beguiling intoxication, effortlessly rendered; it was nothing short of an endless pleasure to listen.

Looking particularly stunning in a soft silver-grey gown and singing in a spacious and well-lit room, Claire seemed very much at ease with her repertoire.  Her voice soared with breathtaking ease in prendi from Donizetti’s L’Elisir D’Amore and sparkled as Oscar, the breeches role in Verdi’s saper vorreste from Un Ballo in Maschera – atop D reached with ease.  The evening’s encore Somewhere over the Rainbow, a poignant choice under the circumstances, was delivered with warmth and style.

The concert recorded live, was a complete delight from start to finish.  One of the treats about ★Opera Live At Home★ is that the singer can engage with her audience in a number of ways and a zoomed performance allows the audience to ask questions to the artists.  Claire handled this with infectious enthusiasm – a songstress par excellence but also a natural and charming persona.  Helen ably compered throughout, introducing each aria with conversational banter, anecdotes and some historical background.

Congratulations must go to Helen whose brilliant ★Opera Live At Home concept provides all the excitement of a real live concert in the comfort of one’s own surroundings and none of the hassle of a long journey home!  And so successful an idea it obviously was, prompting a Parisian audience member to comment that his whole building was tuned in to his large speaker system, enjoying the musical delights.

A truly inspiring evening.  May there be more to come.


Kate Cleeland, September 2020

Photography by Jay Price and Frances Marshall

From → On-Line, Opera, Recital

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