Just back from Camerata Ireland’s performance at the brand-new Palladium in Carmel, Indiana.
First of all, the facility is a winner. Chuck and I bought seats in the choral terrace behind the stage, and they were great. It was almost like sitting in the orchestra, with a full view of Barry Douglas conducting and nearly close enough to read the music on the stands. Despite being behind the orchestra (and her back), we were able to clearly hear Celine Byrne when she sang.
Secondly, there’s no denying Camerata Ireland’s proficiency as an orchestra, although there are only 27 players wielding instruments*. The strings are a disciplined unit, sounding perfectly together. The woodwind players – the first chairs of oboe, clarinet, and bassoon in particular – are first-rate. Douglas is able to lead the group in carefully shaded dynamics, adjusting the mix of instruments to make the music speak in ways that just aren’t possible on most recordings you hear.
Third, the soloist, soprano Celine Byrne, was a wonderful addition. There’s no denying her talent (plus, she is drop-dead gorgeous). She sang two Mozart arias on the main program, then returned with Douglas and the orchestra to perform an Irish ballad. It was enough to bring tears to your eyes.
Camerata Ireland’s US tour now moves to Chicago, followed by appearances in Florida. The orchestra then goes on to Spain, while Celine goes to Los Angeles to perform for St. Patrick’s Day.
Another amazing night with Camerata Ireland.
*The orchestra breaks down this way:
- Six first violins
- Four second violins
- Three violas
- Three cellos
- One bass
- Two oboes
- One flute
- Two bassoons
- Two clarinets
- Two french horns
- One conductor/music director/piano (Barry Douglas)
- One soprano soloist (Celine Byrne)