Pianist Ken Noda & Soprano Michelle Bradley
On Thursday December 6, 2018, Michelle Bradley and Ken Noda presented a vocal recital in Miami. The audience was absolutely mesmerized. Bradley, whose glorious voice brought to mind the voice of Jessye Norman, is emerging as a superstar who is perfoming major roles at the Metropolitan Opera and Europe in Aida, Trovatore, Turandot, Forza del Destino, Don Giovanni and Ernani. Present in the audience was Bradley’s 90 year-old first teacher, Lois Alba, who flew to Miami from Houston to hear the recital.
Before becoming Musical Advisor to the Lindemann Young Artist Program at the “Met” and internationally renowned vocal coach, Noda, a Barenboim protege, was soloist with major orchestras under Abbado, Barenboim, Chailly, Kubelik, Levine, Mehta and Previn. Not only has he played chamber music with Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, the Emerson Quartet, he has also accompanied such noted singers as Kathleen Battle, James Morris, Jessye Norman, Dawn Upshaw and Deborah Voight. Between works on the program, Bradley evidenced a lovely, charming personality with comments to the audience about the various works that were being performed.
The program began with Donna Anna’s aria Non mi dir from Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The complete cycle of Hermit Songs which Barber wrote in 1953 followed. Bradley captured the various moods of each of the ten songs in the cycle.
After intermission, the program continued with O patria mia from Verdi’s Aida in which her voice ranged from dramatic to a gorgeous ending pianissimo. She then turned to Richard Strauss, capturing the character of an aria from Ariadne auf Naxos and ending with four Strauss songs, including Ständchen.
The standing, cheering ovation was rewarded with three encores. Bradley even sat down at the piano to play and sing “He’s got the Whole World in His Hands” that was reminiscent of Marian Anderson. The audience with ‘smitten!’