Randall Bills - "Il mio tesoro"
Point Loma Opera Theater continues to crank out quality concerts. The most recent success was Mozart’s Don Giovanni on Tuesday August, 18 at Pacific Beach Presbyterian and Thursday August 20th at St. Paul’s Cathedral.
I went to both performances but left midway on Thursday because I had my son with me and I want him to enjoy opera instead of looking at it as a duty he owes to his dad. The performances of Giovanni were basically the full score with very few cuts. This put the running time about two-and-half hours.
The cast was consistently excellent. Consistent excellence is tough to pull off when there are eight principal characters.
The majority of the cast were graduate-level singers. There were two undergraduates and one pro, to the best of my knowledge.
The pro was Randall Bills and he sang the role of Don Ottavio, a role which he performed last season with Seattle Opera. Randall has come to San Diego for years and worked with young singers even though he himself is still a young professional.
Randy has a voice you could listen to all day. Every single note he sings shimmers with the same vitality. This is one of the characteristics of a polished and accomplished singer. Randy’s instrument is consistent in its quality on every single pitch he sings.
This might not seem like a big deal but it is. We expect a violin to have a consistent quality on every pitch so why not a singer? The human voice is ever so much more complicated than any instrument.
This also makes listening to his singing a pleasure. Every pitch is in place and in tune. It’s just what great singing is.
The rest of the cast was no less talented than Bills, just slightly less polished and experienced. I would say that bodes well for their futures if they can survive the years of attrition involved in becoming an opera singer at the highest levels.
Why not mention young singers by name? Because it’s unfair. They’re still developing. In this case it would be unfair not to mention them by because of how tremendous their singing was:
Leporello: Ted Pickell
Donna Anna: Michelle Law
Don Giovanni: Michael Aiello
Commendatore: Joshua Arky
Don Ottavio: Randall Bills
Donna Elvira: Kelsey Kammeraad
Zerlina: Alexandra Rodrick
Masetto: Jack French
Pianist: The indefatigable Ines Irawati