Carol Vaness is a highly accomplished operatic singer, as she has now been proving for more than half a decade in important opera theaters, including those in New York and London.
But Vaness is not a deeply satisfying recitalist, as she showed in her recital debut--sponsored by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn.--in the Pavilion of the Music Center, Wednesday night.
In a reasonably varied, handsomely executed program--she was substituting for the indisposed Teresa Berganza--the statuesque, dark-haired, California-trained soprano offered many moments of vocal pleasure, but only occasional nourishment for the spirit. And, despite her very attractive appearance, Vaness really did not charm her audience.
Throughout this collection of songs and arias by Handel, Rossini, Mozart, Chausson, Kander and Turina, one was reminded that projecting poetry, in all its variety and meaning, through the medium of expressive sound, is the principal challenge posed by the vocal recital. Merely to arrange and deliver an interesting agenda is not enough. Engaging the listener, sharing insights and creating mood and character are required.