"Being heard through this thicker orchestration in an open-air amphitheater was the least of Belcher’s accomplishments on a triumphant evening that was indeed proof of the awesome power of music. . . Act I celebrates their nuptials, offering Belcher the first of many opportunities to display his fine technique, with accurate pitch and precise control. With diction as crisp as his melodic line, he won the audience over as surely as Orfeo had won his bride. . . .the confrontation between Belcher, who spends most of the act (not to mention all of “Possente spirto,” the opera’s turning point and most fearsome vocal challenge), clinging to the ladder 10 feet above the stage, was for me the high point of the evening, dramatically and vocally. With only two opportunities to rehearse with the actual set piece ladder at the actual height, Belcher’s accomplishment in rendering such a gorgeous entreaty, complete with the only baroque ornamentation of the evening (“my homage to the original,” said Belcher) while so precariously perched is miraculous."
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