Operatic females were on display at an intimate one-night performance of Witches, Waifs, & Wives: the Great Women of Opera at Marpole United Church on Saturday night.
The performance was to celebrate Opera Mariposa, a brand new opera company being launched by best friends and accomplished sopranos Jacqueline Ko and Robin Eder-Warren.
Ko and Eder-Warren took turns introducing their own solo performances, accompanied by Michael Onwood on piano.
Eder-Warren’s first performance, “Mein Herr Marquis” or “Laughing Aria” as it is sometimes called, from Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus was perfectly and amusingly executed.
Eder-Warren’s pieces were uplifting and energetic. She delightfully stole the show with her playful execution.
Eder-Warren has the ability to inject humour into her voice; her vocal range and versatility is impressive. She has an adept sense of timing and an expressive face and body, and she makes good use of space, on a few occasions physically interacting with the audience.
“I can’t get enough of her,” audience member Shirley Walsh said, “she’s like an angel.”
Ko also held her own, with such moving performances as “Ave Maria” from Otello and “Un bel di, Vedremo” from Madama Butterfly. She stood stationary for the majority of her songs but the range of her voice was expression enough.
“They’re both delightful,” Walsh said. “I think this was a stroke of genius, this whole creation.”
“We just wanted to sing the pieces that we love, and the great female characters,” said Ko, who also serves as artistic director of the company. “We got all the songs, and we just kind of put together a little show. There were some [more characters] I would have liked to have had in there, but there wasn’t enough time for all of them. We will do more shows, so there’s more time for everything.”
Opera Mariposa’s next show will be two short operas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, and are scheduled for fall 2012.
Reported by Stacy Thomas