“The choice of voices offering more beauty continued on Sunday as the 10-day Festival Napa Valley concluded with a gala, featuring two bright stars of opera, mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard — “acclaimed for her passionate intensity and remarkable vocal beauty” — and Michael Fabiano … It was sheer pleasure, composed of crowd-pleasing favorites, orchestral interludes, solos and duets.
A spritely overture to “La Cenerentola” was the prelude to Leonard’s first solo, “Una Voce Poco fa” from Rossini’s “Barber of Seville.” Later she sizzled as she performed the “Habanero(a)” from “Carmen” …
Together they shined as they performed duets from Jules Massenet’s “Werther,” Bellini’s “Norma,” and concluded the stellar show with the poignant “O soave fanicuilla” from “La Bohème.” A lovely touch: They wandered off the stage as they were singing the love song of Rodolfo and Mimi, and the last notes came from offstage.
Amid the thunder and roars of applause, they returned to the stage for an encore — the most appropriate love song to the Napa Valley, the drinking song from “Traviata.”
Sasha Paulsen – Napa Valley Register
“One doesn’t need to be an opera fan to appreciate the raw vocal power of all stars Michael Fabiano and Isabel Leonard. The tenor and mezzo-soprano performed an unforgettable evening of arias and duets from operas such as Carmen, Figaro and Don Carlo.”
Sherrie Perkovich – Communities Digital News