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Reviews of Magnificat’s “Venus and Adonis”

We’ve had two reviews of our performances of Venus and Adonis last weekend. Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle concluded his review with the following comments:

“Sunday’s performance, ably led by Artistic Director Warren Stewart, made a strong case for this little-known work. The eight-member instrumental ensemble offered solid, rhythmically alert accompaniment, and the cast sang splendidly throughout. Soprano Catherine Webster and bass Peter Becker, in the title roles, combined clarity and eloquence in equal measure, while countertenor José Lemos’ vocal flights as Cupid lent the character an air of extravagant fancy. The chorus of shepherds and huntsmen was ably sung by Jennifer Paulino, Clifton Massey, Paul Elliott and Hugh Davies, and eight members of the San Francisco Girls Chorus brought vivacious charm to the scene of Cupid’s lesson.” Read the Full Review

Pessissimo at the always engaging blog Exotic and irrational entertainment also posted a very thoughtful review:

“Blow’s flowing melodies were performed beautifully by Magnificat (with members of the San Francisco Girls Chorus). Special mention should be made of soprano Catherine Webster’s Venus, countertenor Jose Lemos’ Cupid (his Lesson was especially amusing) and bass Peter Becker’s Adonis, all of whom were excellently sung and characterized. Magnificat made a compelling case for the work; given its obviously high quality and modest scale, I’m amazed that it isn’t programmed more frequently. I’ve been interested in Baroque opera, and this work in particular, for more than a decade and a half, but this was my first opportunity to see it performed. Thanks are due to Stewart and Magnificat for bringing this unjustly neglected work to life.” Read the Full Review

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