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Opera PLUS - Concert with Eva Urbanová, concert review, October 2010

Opera PLUS, 14.10.2010, Ondřej Šupka

Eva Urbanová vs Václav Klaus - concert for the First Lady - Spanish Hall, Prague Castle, 12th of October 2010.

Urbanová, however, was not the night´s only soloist, for she invited the young mezzo, Barbora Polášková, to “help her out.” The latter delivered her accounts of both lullabies from Smetana´s The Kiss, Rosina´s aria “Una voce poco fa” from Rossini´s Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Dalila´s aria “Mon coeur s´ouvre à ta voix” from Saint-Saëns´ opera Samson et Dalila. Polášková impressed the audience by a pliant voice which tackled the abundance of Rossini coloraturas not just with technical assurance, but also with pleasurable absence of pomposity.

Here was a voice rather more appealing in the lower register and at fairly slow speeds, which became notably manifest in a beautiful rendition of Dalila´s aria, whereas at two points in the Rossini tandem the topmost notes did not come out quite as convincingly, with even a minor flaw in intonation. Round and about, Polášková made a very fine impression, including the unmistakeable presence of innate acting talent which came to the fore especially in the night´s two duets where she sang opposite Urbanová. The first of these – a dialogue between Ježibaba and Rusalka from the third act of Dvořák´s Rusalka - came as the last number before intermission. There, Polášková´s Ježibaba was genuinely venomous and demoniac. The second duet brought the two soloists together on the platform in the second of two encores for which they were called back by the enthusiastic audience. They were once again treated to a rendition of Dvořák´s Ježibaba, this time out her aria Čury mury fuk, where the two singers divided the task jokingly between themselves, alternating with each other in the individual rejoinders.