There were many things to like about Saturday night’s concert by the Dallas Opera, but not many people to like them. The Winspear Opera House was not half full for a program that you’d think would be a real draw.
The main attraction was tenor Marcello Giordani, who’s a major figure at many major opera companies, including the Metropolitan. The Met’s “Live in HD” series has made him familiar to millions.
Giordani seemed a little hoarse at times, but his pleasantly stentorian projection raised goosebumps in numbers from Luisa Miller, Cilea’s L’Arlesiana and Turandot (“Nessun dorma,” of course).
His vocal partner of the evening was soprano Jan Cornelius, the highly impressive winner of last May’s Fort Worth Opera/McCammon Opera Guild Competition and an outstanding Countess in that company’s Marriage of Figaro.
Her “Sempre libera” from La Traviata was both spectacular and lyrically appealing, and her “Mi chiamano Mimì” from La Bohème raised goosebumps of its own.
Duets from Bohème and Manon Lescaut found them a little mismatched, not always in Giordani’s favor.
An impressive conductor, Evan Rogister, gave them strong support and led the Dallas Opera orchestra in dramatic, cohesive performances of overtures from La Forza del Destino and Der Freischütz.