The all-star cast, only seven singing roles, interacts with ferocious tension that can be cut with a knife.
Vanessa is sung by Ohio native Jennifer Rowley, who on Monday heads off to the New York Met. She stopped off this week to sing her inaugural Vanessa in Toledo. She exquisitely crafts Barber’s excruciatingly difficult vocal lines into emotional vehicles which at times border on neurotic madness. She is brilliant.
…Particular mention should be made of two exquisite dramatic moments: the second-act scene where Vanessa and Erika share the glory of grand ballroom dances gone by, and the quintet finale that prophetically reveals the awaiting fate of each of the principals.