• Solveig Holmquist

Spectacular Performance!

Dear Singers,

The only word for last Sunday's performance is spectacular! I couldn't have dreamt it would go so well, since you had been telegraphing me that you didn't know some of the movements very well, and there were the usual bumpy places at the dress rehearsal. But boy, you unleashed your power when the time came!

Every section performed its best, the balance was great, the energy high and your faces expressive. The two biggest things I'd been stressing lately, in order to bring our performance up a level, were clear dynamic contrasts and natural, speech-like syllabic stress, and you delivered both those crucial elements to the audience on a silver platter. (Your soft singing was truly breathtaking.) The soloists sang with such artistry and blended so well with each other. The electricity of excitement from the audience was palpable. The concert seemed to last about 20 minutes! Many people have communicated to me and to you how incredible it all was, and for once I can agree without reservation.

With permission, I'm going to share with you a note that Anita Blanchard forwarded to me, sent to her from a musically knowledgeable friend who had attended. It's the best review we've ever received, and you need to see it because you earned every word:

My my! I just had to convey to you how much I was impressed by yesterday's compelling rendition of Mozart' emotive Mass. I think the audience response spoke volumes on the critical response to the presentation.....my dear, you are a member of a deeply talented, greatly appreciated, traditionally rooted treasure here in Salem and beyond that defies conventional wisdom.....40 years and seemingly thriving while around the country one sees the general dissipation of all things cultural, a descent into a pop, simplistic, short attention span of mediocrity at best. I have over the years elsewhere seen the dissolution of so many orchestras, theater groups, ballet companies,...seemingly endless and expanding list, sadly. But here in Salem the show does and must go on and aren't we all fortunate? I was watching you and the other singers yesterday exhibit a genuine explosive love and fervor for what they were doing, so in the moment. Damn, talk about an "Ode to Joy"?! I saw that feeling yesterday and it was stirring....keep on singing your heart out, honey! There were so many broad smiles on peoples' faces as they exited. I think they knew they had witnessed something quite special. For those fortunate attendees and myself, I thank you!

And as the music lover fortunate to be your director, I second that!


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