Soprano Vovkova’s US debut in a Milwaukee recital
For the small audience gathered in Vogel Hall on Saturday evening, vocal delights were in abundance. In a repeat performance of a program of favorite opera arias presented Friday evening, Slovakian soprano Katarína Vovková showed poise and superb musicality.
Currently a resident of the Czech Republic, Vovková has found success in opera, concerts and oratorios at home and in Belgium, Croatia and Japan. Her Friday and Saturday concerts at Marcus Center Vogel Hall were her first in America.
The concert program, chosen with the help of her husband, baritone Aleksandr Vovk, was a jewel box of opera favorites. In such arias as Casta Diva from Bellini’s Norma to Ritorna vincitor! from Aida, Vovková demonstrated the range and warm color of her voice. She has excellent control of her instrument and a nuanced palette of dynamics and emotions.
No recital by a Czech soprano would be complete without a performance of Dvorak’s Měsíčku na nebi hlubokém – Rusalka’s Song to the Moon – and Vovková delivered with lyrical grace and style.
Pianist Matthew Bergey provided solid and subtle accompaniment to Vovková’s artistry throughout the evening.
Vovková treated each aria as if it were semi-staged. She imbued all of them with appropriate gesture and feeling. Too often I have seen singers with good diction and technique just sing notes without communicating the soul of a piece. The best among them can do both, and Vovková resides in that category.
This concluding duet garnered resounding cries of bravo! and a standing ovation from all those present.
Proceeds from the recitals will go towards the Intercultural Assistance For Environmental Development’s GiveaBook and arts awareness programs. Click here for more information may be had about IAFED.
Marianne Kordas is currently coordinated graduate degrees in music history and library science at UWM.