As I walked into Benaroya Hall, a wave of memories swept over me, making me wonder if this year’s Messiah could compare to last year’s; however, I lost all thoughts within the first few bars of tenor Thomas Glenn’s opening accompagnato. His tones are well rounded, and his enunciation impeccable. From a singer’s standpoint, he has huge lung capacity (which, given the smooth runs up and down the scale in the Messiah, is a must), and a sure, strong voice. The aria played perfectly into Steven Hegedus’ (bass) following piece, which, due to the rich, deep, wonderful notes that comprise it, blew me away. The choir nailed the classic Hallelujah chorus, and stayed completely on pitch throughout the whole thing.
Honestly though, I felt rather part of the audience, and not drawn in to the music, as I prefer, until Ms. Nathalie Paulin (soprano) began to sing. Her vocal skills and sweet, clear, bell-like, softly accented voice (not to mention her gorgeous dress!!!) captured my attention, and I sat looking forward to each of her arias. Filling out the quartet of harmony was Ryan Belongie, countertenor. I honestly was not expecting a voice as unique as his, as I was naive to what a countertenor sounds like. For those of you who aren’t into music beyond listening to it, a countertenor is along the same lines as an alto.
At the end of the show, I was highly privileged to meet all four soloists, and got to interview Ms. Nathalie.
Monet: Where are you from, Ms Nathalie?
Nathalie Paulin: A tiny town by New Brunswick, Canada.
Mo: What are your favorite parts of the Messiah?
NP: The Hallelujah chorus and my last aria. It is such a pure piece.
Mo: You have the prettiest dress!
NP: Thank you! I got the fabric in Singapore, so it’s a one of a kind dress!
Mo: Thank you so much for your time!
NP: You are welcome, and thank you for coming to listen!
Next at Seattle Symphony
Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20