Laura Claycomb, the soprano with the brightest coloratura around, and with the brightest red hair, also has laser-bright projection, burning-bright intellect, daring, appeal, and indefatigability to the max. That’s a low-key, restrained report from Claycomb’s nothing-short-of-sensational recital Monday at the San Francisco Legion of Honor. (She repeated the recital on Sunday, with even more glorious results, impossible as that may seem.)
On a Monday night, out at Land’s End, half-hidden by the fog over the Pacific, the recital audience was understandably small, but the event was extraordinary; it should have drawn thousands. Literally at the threshold of the newly opened “Monet in Normandy” exhibit, the Florence Gould Theater concert should have been mobbed.
That bright, bright (sorry), effortless voice soared from the first note (Vivaldi’s Par che tardi oltre il costume) to the last, two and a half hours later in the encore, a Villa-Lobos Bachianas Brasileiras. Pianist and arranger Peter Grünberg orchestrated and anchored the unusual accompaniment, consisting of cellist Nina Kotova and guitarist Marc Teicholz. Following the Vivaldi, there was a letter-perfect, although strangely un-Handelian, Per te lasciai la luce…
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