Kyle Ketelsen and Elizabeth Futral

Two outstanding young singers team up for an enticing afternoon of song.

By David Shengold

Gilder Lehrman Hall (at the Morgan Library); Sun 14

Dynamic Iowan bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen has a terrific operatic career going seemingly everywhere but at the Met, where his promising 2006 debut as Angelotti in Tosca merited a swifter return than we’ve seen as yet. But in Chicago, London, Barcelona and Munich, Ketelsen’s fine voice and stage-wise, guy-next-door persona have won him acclaim as Mozart’s Figaro and Leporello, Bizet’s strutting Toreador and the loopy quartet of bad guys in The Tales of Hoffmann.

Ketelsen makes a rare New York appearance this weekend in a George London Foundation recital shared with Elizabeth Futral, the North Carolina beauty who’s enchanted Lincoln Center audiences as Delibes’s Lakmé, Handel’s Semele and Tan Dun’s Princess Yueyang. The afternoon will encompass a broad swath of French songs, including masterpieces by Fauré and Poulenc as well as selections Ravel submitted for G. W. Pabst’s early talkie film about Don Quixote.

Ketelsen, accompanied by the always superb Ken Noda, also offers arias from good and bad father figures: King René from Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Mephistophélès himself from Gounod’s Faust. Juilliard composer Phillip Lasser will accompany Futral in four of his French-language songs about love. Together, the singers will essay the wrenching brother/sister duet from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. Following this strong start, the London Foundation series continues with Marcello Giordani and Julianna di Giacomo on December 12, and Dolora Zajick and Nathaniel Peake on April 10.

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November 8, 2010


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