Songs with spontaneity

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[box] MUSIC
“Afroditi Sings”
Angela Giblin and Margaret Legge-Wilkinson
Teatro Vivaldi, season closed
Reviewed by Clinton White [/box]

CABARET entertainers get a chance to present a variety show and interact with and engage the audience with a liberal sprinkling of spontaneity.

The intimate surrounds and rather nice setting in Teatro Vivaldi lends itself perfectly.

This show, by mezzo-soprano Angela Giblin and pianist Margaret Legge-Wilkinson, had all the variety but, in the first half at least, little of the other elements that make for good cabaret.

The opening piece, a piano solo of Oscar Peterson’s arrangement of “Tico Tico”, whilse played accurately, stifled the freedom of jazz.

And the popular songs, such as “So in Love” and “Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me” were stiff.  But there were special moments – the songs by Robert Schumann and Spanish composer Manuel de Falla were performed with sensitivity and passion.

After interval, Giblin and Legge-Wilkinson settled into a much more relaxed, personable and engaging style. It started well with another solo piano piece; a sensuous but sultry performance of “Malaguena”, by Isaac Albeniz.

Special treats were the premiere performance of “I Carry Your Heart”, by Canberra composer Stephanos Malikides, and Legge-Wilkinson’s beautiful setting of an Irish poem, “Donal Og”.

The final song, “La Vie en Rose” was a bit too operatic for me. But the encore, “You Go to my Head”, was certainly the best of the popular songs on the program, performed with all the spontaneity, audience engagement and freedom that cabaret demands.

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