My most adoring & desperately impressed congratulations to the six finalists in the 2005 Lexus Song Quest:
Especially to Penny and Robert, both Dunedin singers. Penny was simply out of this world with her Lied an den Mond. Robert could just break your heart with Pierrot's song from Die Tote Stadt. And to Madeleine Pierard, at whose feet roses ought to be strewn. Duparc's 'Chanson triste', followed by 'No word from Tom...I go to him' - perfection itself. Almost too fabulous to be allowed, quite frankly. I'm listening to her again now and thinking it possible I shall swoon at the final.
Joanna Heslop met my high expectations - NZ Opera News has been publishing her letters from Russia, where she's been studying, and it seemed to me she simply must be fabulous. She was: a lovely Rachmaninoff song followed by an excellent 'Ah je ris'. Allison Cormack's 'Ob die Wolke' was incredible: the selections we heard from her last night were excellent but didn't hint that she could do this. And Jamie Frater's 'But who shall abide' was likewise seriously impressive: the man's got an obvious flair for Handel: always an excellent thing.
This list of six doesn't exactly match the one I made last night, but it's pretty close. And honestly, after the performances broadcast tonight, I wouldn't deny any one of these singers their place. Even though it does make my life that much more difficult: I find my loyalties split six ways. The final is going to be one hell of a night.