Opera News | by Alan Pendergast
Francesca Zambello, artistic and general director of the nearby Glimmerglass Festival, is passionate about bringing opera to nontraditional audiences—even if the effort sometimes takes her well out of her comfort zone. But in decades of opera and theater work, she had never undertaken anything quite as challenging as last summer’s journey, with several Glimmerglass cast members, to Attica, to perform selections from Verdi’s Macbeth for inmates. A documentary about the prison got her thinking about extending the nonprofit’s community outreach to new realms. “It’s not that far from us,” she says. “I wondered what it would be like if we brought opera to the biggest maximum-security prison in the state.”
“Ms. Moore has been making quite a name for herself with her highly dramatic interpretations and warm stage presence. The list of roles she has tackled and those upcoming give one the impression of astonishing versatility–Mozart, Wagner, Puccini, Verdi, Bizet, and Jerome Kern are all represented. With collaborative pianist Robert Mollicone, she held the Weill Recital Hall audience in rapt attention.
Melody Moore makes her highly anticipated recital debut in New York this week, on May 25 at Carnegie Hall. She is accompanied by pianist Robert Mollicone on a program that highlights works by Donaudy, Respighi, Puccini, Debussy, and more. This performance is featured as part of the ‘Great Singers: Evenings of Song’ series, and takes place in Weill Recital Hall.
Soprano Melody Moore is currently between shows at Washington National Opera, singing Freia in Das Rheingold and Ortlinde in Die Walküre until May 18th. After that, she hits the recital stage in Chicago with pianist Shannon McGinnis (May 20) and at New York’s Carnegie Hall with Robert Mollicone (May 25). Moore took the time to talk about some of the enviable roles she’s had the chance to perform, what’s left on her singing bucket list, and her “incredibly strong connection” with Puccini’s Tosca.
“American Soprano Melody Moore worked wonders with her character of Freia (Sister to Fricka). Ms. Moore’s stunning Soprano was employed to its utmost effect as he expressed her peril at being used as ransom (for her brother-in-law’s building of his own elaborate home, deemed as “Valhalla”). Ms. Moore also employed a sublime sense of humor when being returned by her captors and, consequently, almost being buried alive with mounds of gold!”
David Friscic – DC Metro Theater Arts
“Melody Moore sang warmly as Freia . . .”
Tim Smith – Opera News
“Melody Moore rounds out the clan, settling into a warm, womanly sound for Freia. Moore has a unique assignment in this production—Freia returns from her time in Riesenheim having fallen for captor Fasolt, and must genuinely mourn his murder by Fawner … the rich-girl-gone-bad trope works in the context of the production and Moore played it effectively …”
Alex Baker – Parterre.com
This season, Melody Moore sings two roles in upcoming performances from Wagner’s Ring Cycle at Washington National Opera, in productions directed by Francesca Zambello, with conductor Philippe Augin leading from the pit. Ms. Moore is Freia in Das Rheingold (April 30 and May 10 & 17) with a cast that includes Alan Held as Wotan, Gordon Hawkins as Alberich, William Burden as Loge, and Elizabeth Bishop as Fricka. Melody also sings the role of Ortlinde in Die Walküre (May 2, 11 & 18) with Christopher Ventris as Sigmund, Meagan Miller as Sieglinde, Alan Held as Wotan, and Catherine Foster and Nina Stemme alternating as Brünnhilde.