Alice's voice is broad ranging both in pitch and colour, and she used these qualities to good affect throughout the evening in a programme which was varied and excellently presented. If I had to choose a highlight from her recital it would be her two songs by Quilter, which were beautifully sung by any standards. I particularly enjoyed her interpretation of 'Les Chemins de l'amour' by Poulenc; but her songs in German and Italian, which formed the greater part of the programme, were equally confident, impressive and idiomatic.
If this concert was designed to showcase Alice's versatility, then it succeeded magnificently. She was as comfortable with Handel's stately Ode on the Birthday of Queen Anne as she was with the playful rush of Die Fledermaus. To a confident and assured soprano voice with a fine range she has added a new-found mastery of character, swapping easily from the wistful Mimi of La Bohème to Lehár's coquettish Giuditta. For Kurt Weill's Youkali she became a charming French chanteuse. Alice gave us fifteen pieces in her concert, moving easily and fluently between French, German and Italian. The audience would have been glad of more. No-one who saw this concert could doubt that Alice is on the way to great things. But don't forget us, Alice. We'd love to hear more.
Soprano, Alice Howell's light and euphonic solos were a particular highlight, perfectly befitting the chamber setting. Haydn, always a pious man, once wrote: "When I think upon my God, my heart is so full of joy that the notes dance and leap from my pen." This sentiment abounded in the St. Richard Singers' bright and blissful performance throughout; I'm sure he would have approved.