Nadine Sierra and Pretty Yende star in “Great Voices” at the Konzerthaus.
When two competitors come together, something can happen that elevates them. This is what happened on the evening of “Great Voices” by sopranos Nadine Sierra and Pretty Yende at the Konzerthaus. The former is almost a blank canvas in this country, and the latter is Simon Stone’s production “La Traviata” at the Opera remembered as an influence before emoji projections. Both of them are currently invading well-known opera theaters all over the world from Paris to New York, and they both sing the same compositions. However, they showed a particularly strong sense of unity when they played together, underscored by the fact that their voices are in perfect harmony in the duo.
Those who have studied the program can enjoy guessing which will sing which of the announced melodies. And so it wasn’t Yende who was as happy as Traviata, but Sierra – with Yende contributing the Tenor part on the outside. “It’s not every day that you get to know Alfreda,” Sierra commented charmingly afterwards. Overall, she has captured her winning nature as well as her voice: anyone who hears how brilliant she resonates here, especially in the middle register, and with what ease she creates tonal sequences, would not be surprised that she is just like her. She participated in Maggio Musicale Fiorentino this season as well as at the Bavarian State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera and La Scala. I effortlessly and powerfully brought home the Quel guardo il cavaliere from Don Pasquale, including a wealth of timber. Her love of acting was also notable, with Sierra succinctly choreographing each role, whether it was Susanna in conversation with the Countess or Maria in the duet “West Side Story.” And while Pretty Yende missed the mark with the totally incomprehensible csárdás “Fledermaus,” Sierra’s “Vilja-Lied” was extraordinarily straightforward and also in a class of its own in terms of melody flow.
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