Lesley Garrett

MICHAEL DRAKE King's Lynn Festival event at King's Lynn Corn Exchange

MICHAEL DRAKE

This centrepiece concert sponsored by Travis Perkins was a sellout weeks ago and setting aside male bias for an attractive lady, it was easy to see why, for soprano Lesley Garrett has an attractive manner also and charisma by the bucketful to add to a wide- ranging vocal repertoire.

For singers, the Corn Exchange acoustic presents a challenge, to say the least, but Lesley Garrett made light of that with immaculate diction and vocal definition after initially struggling a little with projection in a pair of higher decorated baroque songs.

She may call her evening dresses “frocks” but that didn't prevent subtle portrayals of emotion (Handel's Lascia ch'io pianga), passion in Strauss's Zueignung, tenderness (When I Fall in Love) and sensitivity in Barber's Sure On This Shining Night, all, as was the whole programme, sympathetically and nimbly accompanied by pianist Andrew West.

Quite appropriate in a programme taking in both the classical and lighter was another Strauss song, Nichts, asking which is the singer's favourite; all or none.

Lesley Garrett is happy with them all and perfectly reflected the music, whether in a quartet of 20th-century Spanish love songs in madrigalian style or in her very individual treatment of Bernstein's beautifully controlled Somewhere.

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Perhaps the sotto voce endings were a little overdone but this bubbly entertainer is welcome back to Norfolk any time as prolonged applause acknowledged.

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