Jena = passion + technical mastery

Jena and Kelly

By Val Friesen

Music lovers enjoyed a superb evening on Friday, April 10th, when lyric soprano Jenavieve Moore and her accompanist, Victoria pianist Kelly Charlton, performed a program of arias, lieder and art songs in the Venables Theatre.

Jenavieve’s mastery of technique and beautiful tone were evident from the very first piece, a magnificent aria from an early Mozart opera, “Mitridate, Re di Ponto,” (written when he was 14!). Jena emotionally inhabits the persona of the young queen, Aspasia, who is torn between love and duty, and presents her to us. Beautiful.

This was followed by three whimsical Poulenc songs, the rather haunting “Die Loreley” by Franz Liszt, and then a set of five Richard Strauss lieder. These latter pieces set poetry to music, are filled with images and emotions that touch the soul, particularly when the music so completely matches the mood of the poetry, and most particularly when sung with the sensitivity and perceptivity of a gifted singer such as Jenavieve Moore. And much credit to the overall effectiveness must be given to pianist Kelly Charlton, a truly consummate musician. How incredible that he and Jena had never worked together before, and had only a few hours of rehearsal time to prepare this marvellous program.

Kelly Charlton took the stage following intermission to play two Brahms pieces, the deeply reflective Intermezzo in E major, followed by the turbulent Capriccio in D minor. Thank you, Kelly.

Having given us songs in German and French, Jena now sang Prokofiev’s “Five Poems of Anna Akhmatova Opus 27” in Russian. The poet was no stranger to multiple romances, and her poems are filled with the sunlight, darkness, secrets (those grey eyes!), bleakness, and telling images drawn from nature and her own intimate experiences that Prokofiev vividly explores in his music. Jena brought them to life for us.

A soulful aria in English from Stravinsky’s opera “The Rake’s Progress” was followed by the concluding piece of the evening, John Duke’s delightful little art song, “Penguin Geometry.”

The audience was then invited to meet the artists and renew acquaintances in a reception in the atrium of the Venables Theatre.

Thank you for a wonderful evening, Jena and Kelly! We have the South Okangan Concert Society to thank for bringing Jenavieve Moore home to us from her ongoing studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and her busy performance schedule around the world. Very best wishes for ongoing success in your exciting career, Jena.

And by the way, Early Bird prices for next season’s SOCS flex pass ($60) are available until April 30th. Tickets are on sale at Beyond Bliss in Oliver and Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos.

Photo Credit : Bob Park