World-renowned tenor Alfredo Kraus unleashed his golden voice and riveting dramatic talent last night at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Kraus, accompanied by skilled pianist Jose Tordesillas, offered a thrilling program of operatic arias and Spanish songs.
In Donizetti's "Una furtiva lagrima" (from "L'elisir d'amore"), the Spanish-born tenor displayed beautiful trills and sustained notes that grew and diminished with incredible control. In two other Donizetti arias, he moved from slightly pinched high notes in "Una vergine" (from "La favorita") to pure, open highs in the difficult and highly ornamented "Aria di Gennaro" (from "Lucrezia Borgia").
Turina's "Poema en forma de canciones" offered a vehicle for Kraus to pour out throbbing, melodic laments of the mournful lover. The sadness in Ginastera's "El arbol del olvido" (The Tree of Oblivion) was more restrained, flowing in languid, slow phrases. Other Spanish songs included De Falla's "La jota," tossed off by Kraus with delicate, lively rhythms, and Guastavino's "Pueblito, mi pueblo" (Little Town, My Town), sung with endearing nostalgia.
Generously responding to the audience's thunderous applause and standing ovation, Kraus offered several encores including an absolutely perfect performance of Verdi's "La donna e mobile" from "Rigoletto."