CONCERT REVIEW

Slovakia presents an astounding evening in New York

SLOVAK opera artists held a special concert at New York's Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall under the Slovakia Is Ready project, which aimed to encourage cultural relations between the young republic and the USA. Soprano singer Ľubica Vargicová and pianist Daniel Buranovský performed works by Bellini, Donizetti, Puccini, Verdi, Suchoň, and Thomas in an hour-long programme.


VARGICOVÁ was stunning.
photo: Courtesy of ACEC

SLOVAK opera artists held a special concert at New York's Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall under the Slovakia Is Ready project, which aimed to encourage cultural relations between the young republic and the USA. Soprano singer Ľubica Vargicová and pianist Daniel Buranovský performed works by Bellini, Donizetti, Puccini, Verdi, Suchoň, and Thomas in an hour-long programme.

Alternating between vocal and piano pieces, the artists provided a stunning experience. Vargicová's impressive strength coupled with Buranovský's wonderful interpretations of the compositions made for an energetic, albeit brisk, evening.

Vargicová is undoubtedly considered one of Slovakia's most distinguished musical voices. Since 1993, she has had a permanent engagement with the opera ensemble of the Slovak National Theatre. She has also given concerts in Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Japan, the Czech Republic, and the USA. She is a graduate of the Academy of Music and Drama Arts in Bratislava.

Buranovský, who graduated from the same school, was awarded the Prize of the Slovak Ministry of Education. Working with various orchestras in Slovakia and Germany, he has performed in Austria, Italy, England, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Hungary, Poland, Argentina, and Vietnam. As a teacher of piano at the academy, he also regularly collaborates with the soloists of the opera of the Slovak National Theatre.

The concert-goers were treated to a lively pre-concert performance by the Roma quartet Anyalai Gypsy Band from Slovakia, playing folk melodies on traditional instruments. Carl Spielvogel and his wife, Barbaralee Diamonstein, the former American ambassadorial couple to Slovakia, personally invited the quartet.

Co-chairs of the Association of Cultural Education and Communication (ACEC), a Slovak-American NGO, and co-organizer of the evening, the Spielvogels welcomed the distinguished audience and introduced the new Slovak ambassador to Washington, Rastislav Káčer. The two spoke warmly of the solid relationship between their two nations, and their positive outlook for the future.

Baritone Vladimír Chmelo, who was also to perform, was unfortunately unable to appear.

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