Operamission: Almira

After seeing and photographing them during Bryant Park's Fall Festival in 2011, I had the wonderful opportunity to reunite with Jennifer Peterson and her group, Operamission.  

This time, they performed Handel's first opera, Almira: the story of a trio of love triangles surrounding a newly crowned queen, two princesses, a soldier, a loyal aide and a mysterious foreign ambassador (thank you Boston Early Music Festival's website for that synopsis).  The performance took place in the lobby of the Gershwin Hotel on 27th St. in Manhattan.  

It was, hands down, the best live vocal performance I have ever heard.  I may give gratuitous praise often, but, I give this ensemble/performance my top spot. 

I feel it is due to the nature of opera: the melodies and runs are very intricate and demanding for the vocalists, and they are asked to perform as well, brightly acting and performing as a character. That’s just…difficult.  But this group knocked it out of the park. They handled it all, and delivered the performance with a great deal of passion as well. That's not to take anything away from other performances I have seen, or to act as if I'm some musical...anything. It just felt incredible to watch and listen to them.

It was beyond a pleasure to watch the performances of:

Christy Lombardozzi (A fellow University of Tennessee graduate) in the role of Almira,

Nell Snaidas as Edilia,  

Kristen Plumley as Bellante,

Michael Weyandt in the role of Fernando,

David Kravitz as Raymondo, 

Mark Risinger as Consalvo, 

Karim Sulayman and Keith Jameson.

Many kudos to Stage Director, Jeff Caldwell, and Conductor, Jennifer Peterson, for the quality of the production:

Note: These images would be featured in a June 2012 article on OperaToday.com. Check it out here!