Bass Carl Dupont and Pianist Kevin Nitsch Delight at Guild Recital

Bass Carl Dupont with pianist Kevin Nitsch The Recital for donors to the Opera Guild was held on Sunday, May 15th at the Academy of Medicine and was special this year in that we were treated for the first time to a professional bass, Carl Dupont of North Carolina. An Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina in Charlotte, Dupont was accompanied by Rochester’s Dr. Kevin Nitsch at the piano. They began with “In diesen heil’gen Hallen,” Sarastro’s aria from Mozart’s The Magic Flute, which expresses the philosophy of the Age of Enlightenment in the last part of the 18th Century: if humans stumble and fall, we should forgive and lift them up with a friendly hand to their duty, or we are not worthy of humankind.

Pizarro’s aria from Beethoven’s Fidelio followed, in which Dr. Dupont ably dramatized a completely different character, who expresses his hateful desire to murder the political prisoner Florestan. Then in two selections from Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, Carl gave an impressive rendition of a more nuanced role, that of the pastor who is charged with counseling Susannah, but who succumbs to sexual temptation and must beg the Lord’s forgiveness.

The Tempter himself was portrayed In “Ecco il mondo” from Boito’s Mefistofele, and in an aria from Verdi’s Ernani, Carl expressed the feelings of many basses and baritones when they discover that the soprano loves the tenor after all. In Ambroise Thomas’s “Air du Tambour-Major” from Le Caïd, Carl again demonstrated his dramatic versatility in the song of the pompous officer.

After the intermission, Carl gave a wonderful and moving performance of “Ol’ Man River” from Jerome Kern’s Showboat. This was followed by a very interesting and affecting piece, “The Martyr” from Pathway to Freedom by the contemporary composer, Cynthia Cozette Lee. Inspired by a story from the civil war, it portrays the feelings and thoughts of a soldier whose task is to bury the fallen of his fellow soldiers of the United States Colored Troops. The upbeat “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin” from George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess relieved this solemn mood beautifully and the recital closed with rich renderings of two American spirituals by Wendell Whalum and Hall Johnson.

- Agneta Borgstedt and Carol Crocca     Photo courtesy of William Crocca

Opera Guild of Rochester

Watch this video featuring highlights from the Guild's Recital courtesy of Erik Oehler of