Opera's Next Wave
There are so few sopranos who seem able to lay claim to the Italian repertoire that there is bound to be plenty of excitement when one breaks through. That happened on March 3 of this year, when Latonia Moore made an unexpected debut at the Metropolitan Opera, filling in for an indisposed Violeta Urmana in the title role of Aida. Moore has a gleaming spinto sound, with thrilling cut, a wide range of vocal colors and a stunning pianissimo. She first attracted major attention in Opera Orchestra of New York's 2008 presentation of Puccini's Edgar, with a beautiful performance of Fidelia's aria, "Addio, mio dolce amor," stealing thunder from her celebrated costars Marcello Giordani and Jennifer Larmore.
Moore is a born stage performer: she knows how to swell a note, how to caress a phrase, how to take her time. At a recital at New York's Weill Hall in 2007, she made the bold choice to open with Tatiana's letter scene from Eugene Onegin, and by the time she ended with "O mio babbino caro," the audience was under her spell.
"My singer friends and I talk a lot about the need to encourage everyone younger than us to stay in the business and keep going," she says. "I love what I'm doing, and I'm going to do it till I drop. I think some of today's stars are becoming very complacent — thinking about their technique instead of immersing themselves in the opera. That irritates me no end."
With major debuts coming up at the opera companies of San Diego, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Cincinnati, it looks as if Moore will have her chance and then some.
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