Mezzo-soprano Ketevan Kemoklidze’s performances filled the hall with that warm vibrato you can really sink your ears into.
Photo courtesy of Al Bustan
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If you go to a classical music performance, chances are you went because you know what you're in for. At least this is what Al-Bustan Festival seems to anticipate, filling its programs with standards – most by late-19th-century European composers. This year's theme "Queens and Empresses of the Orient" took the refreshing step of gently reframing something the audience already knew.It was the soloists – especially soprano Anush Hovhannisyan and mezzo-soprano Ketevan Kemoklidze – whose room-filling vocals and captivating performances breathed life into the evening.Of note was the Al-Bustan Festival Orchestra's concertmaster, Giulio Plotino, who not only gave soulful performance of Massenet's "Meditation from Thais," but engaged both the audience and the string section in a way that, by the second half of the concert, had the room buzzing with improvisational energy.
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