Belle Canto
CRITICS CORNER


What Critics are Saying
"I'm very pleased to announce that there's a new vocal ensemble in town, Conductor Elizabeth Goldstein's Belle Canto. We heard this group of about a dozen singers in a holiday program at First United Methodist Church and can say, without reservation, that their blend, ability to get words across and purity of sound makes them one of the finest choral groups I've heard in years. They're only just formed, but if they continue to go in this direction, you might hear them being spoken of in the same breath as Chanticleer. And there is no higher compliment"

June LeBell
A noted Sarasota music critic and
former Executive Director of Gloria Musicae,
wrote in her 2010 year-end column for "The Observer"



What Audiences & Others are Saying ...
"The Belle Canto singers are wonderful-remind me of the beautiful music I hear when I visit New York City."

"The pleasure and honor are all mine for being able to work with such a fine musician as yourself. Your group is so responsive and well-trained that it's easy for me to play for them and you. And so, if I had a hat, which I don't, it would be off to you and all the Belle Cantos."
"...and all I have to say is "LIZ, BRAVA!" Belle Canto is a delight, the singing was beautiful, full of energy...This certainly set the bar very high for the upcoming year of events."

"I cannot tell you how wonderful your performance was. It truly sent my spirit soaring after a hard week. Angels Everywhere!"

"Belle Canto is stunning-such talented women..."

CONCERT   REVIEW:  Belle Canto a festival of talent and music

By Gayle Williams, Sarasota Herald-Tribune / Monday, March 5, 2012
Belle Canto tags itself as "a celebration of women's voices" and a celebration it certainly was. Their "Singspiration: The Spirit of Women" was a festival of talent and exceptional music highlighting, among others, the music of Dr. Gwyneth Walker and commentary by June LeBell.

Walker's long association with our community has resulted in world premieres by local performing organizations. A number of these compositions have featured Jay Hunsberger, principal tuba with the Sarasota Orchestra. He opened the concert with another world premiere, accompanied by pianist Michael Walker, with "Beloved Brass" in which he proved he really can play anything.

Much of Walker's music springs from the inspiration of folk and popular tunes through which she weaves her own unique voice. Two selections of her three song set, "The Spirit of Women," "So Many Angels" and "Never Sit Down" turned African-American spiritual into a form of feminist commentary. Guarded by angels and through the tireless work of suffragists were songfully celebrated with a delightful sense of humor.

"Sweet Molly and Friends," arranged for Belle Canto and featuring Hunsberger, again on tuba, portraying the lead female role, was a perfect example of Walker's wit and invention carving her own meaning from well-known tunes. Tin Pan Alley never fared so well in the hands of a women's chorus.

Highlighting the naturally collaborative nature of women, the superb young voices of the North Port High School Advanced Women's Chorus blended in for "So Many Angels" and "Sweet Molly and Friends." Yet on their own in three selections conducted by Marti Koch, their voices rang clear and pure. Each of the three works, "Now What is Love?" by Dave and Dean Perry, "The Poet Sings" by Z. Randall Stroope and "Song of Ruth" by David Childs, were of a distinct sentimental nature, well suited to the innocence conveyed by this select ensemble.

The voices of Belle Canto also blended well, and achievement that sounds so simple, but is devilishly elusive. This speaks not only to the talent of the singers, but that of their director as well. Goldstein's programming for this concert made a powerful impression. It would be impossible to detail the depth of poignancy and inspiration that was conveyed through these choices and the music.

         CONCERT   REVIEW: 

                                                                                     By Gayle Williams, Sarasota Herald-Tribune / Monday, July 1, 2012
“Belle Canto, the colorfully scarved female vocal ensemble led by Liz Goldstein, sang a set of standards including Gershwin favorites, “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “The Man I Love.” With a diversity of female voices they achieved a very pleasing blend and nailed tight harmonies with confidence.”