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.