Sarah Connolly recital 3/15/17
Richard and I went to a recital by English mezzo soprano Sarah Connolly and English pianist Joseph Middleton on 3/15/17. I've heard her at the Met twice and liked her a lot - - she was Annio (the lead guy's wingman) in Mozart's *La Clemenza di Tito* in 2005 and was the Composer in R. Strauss's *Ariadne auf Naxos* in 2010. And heck, I'll give myself half a point for seeing her in the HD broadcast of Strauss's *Capriccio* in 2011. She was marvelous in all three, has a lovely voice and a solid stage manner. She wasn't exactly on my radar, but I needed to fill out my Armory subscription, I don't feel like I go to enough voice recitals (aka I never go to any), and Richard was also interested. So why the hell not.
I think good things come from low expectations, because it was a glorious recital. As Richard said, the magic was twofold: the music and the setting. Let's talk about the setting first. The Park Avenue Armory is a huge barn of a place - - it fills the entire block between Lexington and Park and between 66th Street and 67th Street. It's like Macy's, it's impossibly huge. I've been to many cultural events there, always in what's known as the Drill Hall, the huge cavernous space that takes up most of the building. This recital was in the restored Board of Officers room, a lovely room in the front of the building on the side. Two of the smaller rooms were restored in 2011, and the Board of Officers room was breathtaking:
It didn't quite look like that - - they set up a platform under those three paintings, put the piano and performers there, and I would guess around 100 chairs, very comfortable chairs with smart dark brown leather slipcovers (who ever heard of a dark brown leather slipcover, they were divine). My favorite part of the room was the ceiling: