Michelle DeYoung greatly impressed when she appeared in the DSO’s concert performance of Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle and she impressed all over again as Sieglinde. She is a mezzo-soprano, but this is a role that both mezzos and sopranos sing regularly. As an understudy for an indisposed Lotte Lehmann, the 23-year-old dramatic soprano Astrid Varnay debuted in the role in 1941. Other sopranos famous for the role include Margaret Harshaw and Deborah Voigt. Yet mezzo Christa Ludwig was equally successful in the role. We can add DeYoung to the list of great mezzo Sieglindes. She effortlessly sang the role, with a rich voice of remarkable size. She also conveyed all the drama, in this unstaged version, purely with vocal coloration.
If you weren’t at the Meyerson Symphony Center Friday night, you missed what may have been the most electrifying performance I’ve witnessed in Dallas in 16 years…Michelle DeYoung’s well-appointed mezzo could project wariness, determination and glorious, full-throated ecstasy.
The mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung gave an appropriately dusky account of the “Urlicht” movement, and sang beautifully in the finale.