“If another singer were to insert sobs into Richard Strauss’s “Befreit,” as Melody Moore did at her New York recital debut on May 25, it might well seem vulgar. The song’s text and melody alone offer so complete a portrayal of grieving devotion that no such extramusical gesture is necessary. But Moore had already proved herself to be a performer of such honesty that could you not only forgive her the effect, but understand its naked emotionality as a manifestation of her open, uninhibited stage persona. This was in fact as moving a “Befreit” as I’ve ever heard: sobs and all, Moore delivered its pathos exactly.
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.
“. . . the score is often remarkably rich in melodic flight and orchestral texture. Two scenes, in particular, linger . . . in prayerful hope that the world can somehow be transformed. That finale registered with particular poignancy on November 18 in the Kennedy Center Opera House. As the characters formed a tight circle of solidarity, and Melody Moore’s silvery soprano soared with a kind of angelic grace to cap the exquisitely harmonized scene, the effect was downright profound.
All of the singers got deep into their dual roles . . . In addition to her sensitive work as Liuzzo, Moore provided vocal richness and emotional power as Julia Grant, wife of Ulysses.”
Tim Smith – Opera News
“Vocals, of course, are the crucial thing. Melody Moore in the title role produced an intensely dramatic sound in the celebrated Act 2 aria. She could also sweeten her tone in lyrical interludes, such as the episode of blossom decoration that underlines so painfully the depth of Butterfly’s faith (and deception) . . . she consistently conveyed the dignity of the character.”
Arthur Kaptainis – Montréal Gazette
“. . . she was stunning. Her riveting command of the stage offered a persuasive correlative for Lady’s malevolent allure. Her voice was forceful and freely produced, with none of the guttural approximations that some Lady Macbeths permit themselves. Moreover, its trace of steel fit the role exactly; the savage “O voluttà del soglio” section of “La luce langue” slashed like a sword.”
Fred Cohn – Opera News
“Among the quartet of soloists, we were delighted to welcome back soprano Melody Moore, Madison Opera’s Tosca two seasons ago . . . The ladies were a wonderful vocal match for each other, and indeed the foursome blended beautifully; particular attention should be given to Moore’s highest notes, especially at the end, which she delivered with apparent ease.”
Greg Hettmansberger – Madison Magazine