|About Melissa Fogarty|
|On Thursday June 12, 2003, at 3 p.m. at the Old South Meeting House on Washington Street in Boston, I attended a delightful recital entitled “The Mask of Comedy, The Mask of Tragedy.” The performers were “Duo Seraphim”: Melissa Fogarty, soprano and baroque guitar, and Jennifer Griesbach, harpsichord. The recital was a “concurrent event” with the Boston Early Music Festival.
At the beginning of the program, Ms. Griesbach sat at the harpsichord and Ms. Fogarty ran down the aisle toward the harspichord and sang “Aspettate! Addesso canto,” “Wait! Now I am singing,” the first words of a scene (I’m not sure what else to call it) set to music by Antonio Cesti (1623-1669) about the mania for singing among the public of his time. It was very humorous and sung with great panache by Ms. Fogarty.
There followed a series of songs (some of which may be considered arie antiche for all I know) by Italian composers of the seventeenth century, as well as two instrumental pieces for harpsichord. Ms. Fogarty accompanied herself on the baroque guitar for some of the songs. The intent of the program was to demonstrate vocal and dramatic extremes.
Ms. Fogarty successfully conveyed the great joy that she takes in singing. Her voice was pleasant and she ably communicated a variety of emotions. I especially appreciated her careful attention to the text. The audience, with whom she and Ms. Griesbach had established rapport, thoroughly enjoyed the performance, and I would look forward to an opportunity to see Ms. Fogarty in an opera.