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Bogachov's Dynamic Tenor Rings True in 'Pagliacci'

September 24, 1996|CHRIS PASLES

Vladimir Bogachov proved Sunday afternoon that the triumph he scored in 1995 when he succeeded Placido Domingo as Verdi's Otello was no fluke. He repeated the success, again following Domingo, when he sang Canio in the final "Pagliacci" for the Los Angeles Music Center Opera.

Once past a few unfocused vocal moments, Bogachov unleashed a heroic tenor that rang thrillingly to the rafters of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Vocal heft, brilliance and size were not the only qualities Bogachov demonstrated, however. He also sang with dynamic variety and nuance, and his acting was vivid and engaged.

His short and stocky stature even worked to his advantage, reinforcing the image of an unglamorous man desperate to defend the love he believes he's found or avenge the honor he finds he's lost. Verismo indeed.

Dramatic urgency and credibility were also evident in the only other role cast differently from that of opening night--Timothy Noble as Tonio.

Though the top of his range tended toward hootiness, Noble sang with strength, intelligence and mellow evenness elsewhere.

He animated his Prologue and all his other appearances vocally and with persuasive gestures. His anguish and vulnerability pointed up Nedda's cruelty and made it credible when his love for her transmuted into almost diabolical hatred.

All in all, a fine embodiment of composer Leoncavallo's fire and lyricism.

The rest of the cast was previously reviewed. Lawrence Foster again conducted.

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