An Outer Banks Night at the Opera

Left to Right: Christopher Morales, Andrew Paulson, Peter Lake. “Fugue for Tin Horns."
Left to Right: Christopher Morales, Andrew Paulson, Peter Lake. “Fugue for Tin Horns.”

The Virginia Opera Company came to the Outer Banks on Wednesday and after an evening of music with their Emerging Artists the verdict is a huge thank you for some great performances and wonderful music.

The evening featured duets and arias from classic Italian opera with a few American show tunes to end the night.

Presented at All Saints Episcopal Church in Southern Shores the setting was perfect—the acoustics in the chapel room were a good match for opera and with a relatively small audience there was a feeling of intimacy.

The performers were younger members of the Virginia Opera—mostly, it would appear, in their 20s. Younger, perhaps, but these were professional singers in every sense of the word.

What made the evening particularly pleasant was how well they acted the story of the songs. Even with little–make that no–understanding Italian, many of the stories behind the music was clear.

One of the best of the evening was the treatment Christine Suits and Olivia Yokers gave to “Sull’aria” an aria from the Marriage of Figaro. In the opera, a countess and her servant are conspiring to expose the infidelities of the count .

For Suits and Yokers the duet suggested two high school or college girls putting their heads together to dupe some boy into an action the boy had not expected. Everything about their presentation suggested professionals using their skills to make music come alive..

“Fugue for Tin Horns” from Guys and Dolls was one of the last songs performed. Three guys, Peter Lake, Christopher Morales and Andrew Paulson, trying to pick a winning horse, studying three papers…and they are clearly not on the same page.

It’s easy to tell that’s the case, because the three of them are singing three different songs simultaneously—yet it all merges and blends together for a great effect.

A wonderful night of music, presented by the Don and Catharine Bryan Art Series.