Above: Jared Angle, in a Henry Leutwyler portrait.
Friday September 28, 2012 - In a unique mingling of dance and song, New York City Ballet principal dancer Jared Angle and countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo met up in the salon at the Players Club for a Baroque feast. Jared's NYCB colleague Troy Schumacher (who is also the founder of Satellite Ballet) choreographed the Vivaldi piece in which Jared danced. At the harpsichord, the remarkable Bradley Brookshire made marvelous music all evening. The programme was presented as part of the Salon/Sanctuary Concerts series.
Above: Anthony Roth Costanzo, whose singing of Handel, Purcell and Vivaldi showed a delicious timbre, breath control of enviable security, and coloratura that left the listener astounded. For all the magic of his virtuoso vocalism, it was in the sustained poetry of the slow passages that the slender and agile young singer was at his most ingratiating. Tapering the phrases with staggering dynamic command, the voice spoke to us of a time when the great castrati brought audiences to the point of madness. If one or two highest notes seemed slightly strained, it hardly mattered. This was fabulous vocalism, and all the more fascinating for the engaging use of eyes and hands with which Anthony mesmerized his listeners.
Bradley Brookshire (above) played solo works by Bach and Scarlatti, his scale passages rippling off the keyboard with fantastical velocity and precision. A master of timing and of coaxing colours out of his instrument, Bradley even made the silences speak. His musical rapport with the countertenor was a complete delight to experience.
It was in the Vivaldi cantata Qual per ignoto calle that the artistry of the evening's three participants converged. Clad in black tights and a simple grey shirt, Jared Angle stepped into the space where he encountered the bare-footed counter-tenor. Troy Schumacher's choreography drew the singer into the dance, his lithe frame very much at ease with the movement. Jared circled Anthony like an unseen spirit, a guardian angel. Using his wonderfully expressive hands to poetic effect, Jared moved with consummate grace, sometimes lifting the singer and cradling him with consoling tenderness. There were passages where Jared displayed hs vituosity in leaps and turns, but he always returned to keeping watch over his charge. Bathed in the golden light of this antique salon, Jared's face took on an other-worldly beauty. The duet hovered on the brink of unspoken romance - inevitable when two handsome men meet in an intimate setting - but the purity of the spell was never broken.