Last week at NATS, I saw a recital by the great opera singers Christine Brewer and Stephanie Blythe, accompanied by the amazing Craig Terry. Christine Brewer is a Wagnerian soprano, Stephanie Blythe a dramatic mezzo-soprano, and combined, their voices could knock you out of your seat (I can vouch for this because I was in the 3rd row). Craig Terry is a joybomb. Everything he did, both as a collaborative pianist and as a clinician, was full of joy and support for whoever he was working with. I shared with him as he was passing me, “Mr. Terry, I just wanted to tell you that you absolutely exude joy in everything you do.” He stopped and said “Thank you!” and then held his hand out and said, “I’m Craig.” (Yeah, I kinda knew that.) I shook his hand and said, “I’m Christine.”
But there was a moment in the second half where Stephanie Blythe sang a song from her Kate Smith tribute show that was particularly special. The song, “The White Cliffs of Dover,” was written at the height of WWII. She brought that enormous voice down to a silvery thread – so controlled, so perfect – and no one… even… breathed. No one moved. (Of course, that was when my right calf began to itch like crazy – I very carefully used my right foot to scratch it, feeling like a complete Philistine.)
It’s hard for a YouTube video to capture the perfection of this moment, but I found one from a few years ago, with Stephanie Blythe and Craig Terry in concert. Enjoy.
Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass.
As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination.
Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.
View more posts
One thought on “No one even breathed…”