There was a heart-rending and emotionally transparent scene from Debussy’s “Pelléas et Mélisande” done by soprano Maria Valdes and bass-baritone Philippe Sly. Even before that, Valdes had stormed her way fearlessly through the expressive and technical challenges of Anne Truelove’s great Act 1 aria and cabaletta from Stravinsky’s “The Rake’s Progress,” culminating in a beautiful and secure high C.
Among them were New Zealand tenor Pene Pati (Candide) and Atlanta, Georgia, soprano Maria Valdes (Cunegonde). The stage “couple,” who also closed the first half of the concert with a superbly sung scene from Massenet’s Manon, has major career written all over them...Her voice...is uncommonly beautiful as well as steady and sure.
But this “Cenerentola” might serve as an advertisement for the Adler Fellowship, with splendid contributions from baritone Efraín Solís as the Prince’s valet and stand-in Dandini, and from Maria Valdes and Zanda Svede — comically attuned, vocally resplendent — as the wicked stepsisters.
There were better showings... especially from Adler Fellow Maria Valdes, who stepped forward in the last act to give a radiant account of Barbarina’s brief but heartfelt aria.