Cooper’s London

DISCOVERY: Georgia Jarman
Color-atura Her Delightful!

The latest operatic diva discovery in London this season was the American soprano Georgia Jarman. Taking on all four roles in the new Richard Jones Tales of Hoffman, she pretty much stole what was a very strong show. Perhaps this was simply because she was such a surprise! Everyone knew the production would be interesting, inventive, provocative and thought-provoking (as well as very attractive to look at). And everyone was prepared for Barry Banks to be a strong if somewhat vertically challenged Hoffman; for Christine Rice to be an appealing and luscious-voiced Nicklause; and for Clive Bayley to be brilliant (both vocally and dramatically) as all four villains. But they are all ENO regulars—very popular, known entities.

Everyone also expected that the four soprano roles would be well cast; but no one was expecting quite the level of accomplishment that Georgia Jarman showed in both her singing and acting in the roles of Stella, Olympia, Antonia and Giulietta. It’s invidious to single her out, in a sense, when everything else about the production was so spot-on, including the definitely sensitive-to-the-Donizetti-idiom, yet seriously clean and personal conducting of Antony Walker; but she really was the major discovery of this event. Watch out for her! Her coloratura is astonishingly bright and clean; the quality of the voice is very appealing; and she has a completely convincing stage presence.

You can hear her voice on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyg02nj6Ex8and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMyrZ61EVRI and possibly most impressively at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDHyQN1-xNE&feature=relmfu if you’re curious. There’s also a short interview done for the ENO at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ol_W0mtIkn4&feature=related. Jarman will be appearing worldwide next season, and will be returning to the Met for 2012-13.

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2 Responses to “Cooper’s London”

  1. John Branch Says:

    Glad to learn about Georgia Jarman via your post, Mr. Cooper (Mel?). If I were still subscribing to Opera News I might’ve heard of her already; after reading what you wrote, I found a recent ON review of her Lucia in Atlanta. And the web page for her at her management agency reports she’s sung in Boston, some other American cities, and even at New York City Opera, to which I clearly haven’t been paying enough attention.

    Your closing statement that she’ll be “returning to the Met” suggests I’ve missed her there too. Well, I can’t be everywhere. But I’ll be looking through the Met schedule now, you can be sure. Meanwhile, I think I’d rather have seen what you just saw at ENO than anything else, except maybe her Lucia. (The review of that, in case you’re interested, is at http://stephanieadrian.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/opera-news-lucia-di-lammermoor/)

    Like

  2. Mel Cooper Says:

    Dear John, Thanks for the Response! I am delighted that you are now going to seek out the Georgia Jarman experience. Let me know what you think if you get the chance. Mel

    Like

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