Discovering a new singer is not always easy nor pleasant, but hearing American tenor Bryan Hymel for the first time in the Grandes Voix series, at Théâtre des Champs Elysées last night, was so exciting that my heart was beating hard and so was the whole theater’s. People stood up and gave him a triumphal ovation for ten minutes at the end of his first Parisian recital, after he generously encored “Cavalliera rusticana” .
I did not know at the time that he had become a star at the Met last month in “La Bohême”, and had often enchanted English audiences at Covent Garden where he met his wife. He will be back for “Traviata” at the Paris Opera from May 20 to June 14 an I recommend that you book. He is phenomenal.
His beautiful young Greek wife, Irini Kyriakidou, looked nervous at first but her charming voice and her extreme beauty, in a dashing red dress, won over the public who had come mostly for the tenor. His diction in Massenet and “Sigurd” by Reyer (which I had never heard) was perfect, and his technic as well as an extreme assurance, are so comforting and so stunning ! “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Carmen” have no secrets for him. His voice which sounds a little harsh at first, rounds up very fast, and becomes rivetingly powerful.
I had not been moved like this for a very long time and his candid smile and laughing eyes did the rest. The whole evening, with beautiful music, played by a very young PKF Prague Philarmonia orchestra conducted by Italian chef Paolo Bressan, was a little miracle and we felt very privileged to have lived through it.
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