Marius didn't seem to begin confidently, though his voice was on good form. The evening didn't follow the programme directly, but mostly it waas just the running order that was changed. Marius sang Giordani, Gluck and Mozart for the first part of the evening. A slight grimace after each piece indicated his uneasiness with his own performance, though many singers would have been happy to have performed to his standard any day of the week.
After the interval, Marius explained that sometimes, the body doesn't always obey the mind. He seemed more confident, more comfortable and actually seemed to be enjoying himself. Verdi, Respighi, two by Tosti (though not A vuchella) and four by Tchaikovsky completed the evening's program, my favourite being Respighi's Nebbie (which I first heard performed at the last Rosenblatt Recital). Marius' confidence increased with each song after the interval.
From a shaky, uncomfortable-looking beginning, to end with a resounding flourish of four Tchaikovsky songs and two encores is a remarkable recovery. It is also a display of professionalism. At the interval evaluated his performance so far, then decided to continue. It could easily have gone the other way. No-one would have been surprised if he'd cancelled the remainder of the evening. Thank goodness he didn't, his second-half performance more than compensated for a shaky start.
The two encores, neither of which I'd heard before, were obviously favourites of Marius', both sung effortlessly and with as much brio as you'll see from any tenor.
Here is a short clip of Marius with Angela Gheorghiu.
I've yet to attend an average Rosenblatt Recital, a very high standard has been maintained and I have no reason to think that will change. For a taste of what to expect, browse the Rosenblatt Recitals Series YouTube channel and join their Facebook group to stay tuned to upcoming performances.
From this point on, my friend Guillermina will be taking over reviewing Rosenblatt Recitals. I'll be attending some opera performances here in Manchester, which I'll review here. I'm hoping to get tickets for Juan Diego Flórez at The Albert Hall in May, so I hope to see some of you there!